Gallstones are one of the most common digestive diseases with an estimated prevalence of 10%-15% in adults living in the western world, where cholesterol-enriched gallstones represent 75%-80% of all gallstones. In cholesterol gallstone disease, the gallbladder becomes the target organ of a complex metabolic disease. Indeed, a fine coordinated hepatobiliary and gastrointestinal function, including gallbladder motility in the fasting and postprandial state, is of crucial importance to prevent crystallization and precipitation of excess cholesterol in gallbladder bile. Also, gallbladder itself plays a physiopathological role in biliary lipid absorption. Here, we present a comprehensive view on the regulation of gallbladder motor function by focusing on recent discoveries in animal and human studies, and we discuss the role of the gallbladder in the pathogenesis of gallstone formation.
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