Effects of hydrophobic and hydrophilic bile salt mixtures on cholesterol crystallization in model biles

Niels G. Venneman, Sebastiaan J. Huisman, Antonio Moschetta, Gerard P. Van Berge-Henegouwen, Karel J. Van Erpecum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The hydrophilic bile salt ursodeoxycholate is frequently used to dissolve cholesterol gallstones. We have now quantitated crystallization as a function of bile salt hydrophobicity, phospholipid content, cholesterol saturation and total lipid concentration (TLCo). Methods: Crystallization in supersaturated model biles with low phospholipid contents (left two-phase-micelles and crystal-containing-zone) was assessed during 21 days by microscopy and chemical measurement of crystal mass. For model biles with higher phospholipid contents (central three-phase-micelles, vesicles and crystal-containing-zone), lipid distribution into various phases was determined by combined ultracentrifugation-filtration-dialysis methodology (Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1532 (2001) 15-27). Results: In the left two-phase zone, crystal numbers and masses were highest in case of more hydrophilic bile salt composition (TUDC 100%>TC/TUDC 70%/30%>TC 100%>TC/TDC 70%/30%>TDC 100%) and decreased with increasing phospholipid contents, lower TLCo and lower cholesterol saturation index (CSI). In contrast, in the presence of vesicles (three-phase zone), crystallization decreased at increasing bile salt hydrophilicity, with concomitant increased vesicular cholesterol solubilization. Conclusions: Presence of vesicular phases is a prerequisite for inhibition of cholesterol crystallization by tauroursodeoxycholate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-228
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 11 2002


  • Bile salt
  • Bile salt hydrophobicity
  • Cholesterol
  • Crystallization
  • Phosphatidylcholine
  • Ursodeoxycholate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of hydrophobic and hydrophilic bile salt mixtures on cholesterol crystallization in model biles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this