Background and aims: Biliary lipid absorption by the gall bladder mucosa and the cholesterol content of the gall bladder wall appear to play a role in cholesterol gall stone formation. As the scavenger receptor class B type I (SR- BI) regulates cellular cholesterol uptake, we studied its expression in human and murine gall bladders, its regulation by increased biliary lipid content, and its role in gall stone formation.
Methods and results: Using immunohistochemistry, SR-BI was found in the apical domain of human gall bladder epithelial cells. Immunoblotting of isolated membranes from gall bladder epithelial cells showed a specific signal for the 82 kDa SR-BI protein. In C57BL/6 mice, SR-BI was also found in the gall bladder epithelium. Using western blot analysis, an inverse relationship was observed between biliary cholesterol concentration and SR-BI expression in murine gall bladder mucosa. By comparing lithogenic diet fed wild-type and SR-BI deficient mice, gall bladder wall cholesterol content and gall stone formation were not found to be dependent on SR-BI expression.
Conclusions: (i) SR-BI is expressed in both human and murine gall bladder epithelium; (ii) biliary cholesterol hypersecretion is associated with decreased gall bladder SR-BI expression in mice; and (iii) murine SR-BI is not essential in controlling gall bladder wall cholesterol content and gall stone formation during diet induced cholelithiasis.
- gall bladder
- gall stones
- lipid absorption
- ABC, ATP binding cassette
- APN, aminopeptidase-N
- DMEM, Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium
- GB, gall bladder
- GBEC, gall bladder epithelial cell
- H&E, haematoxylin-eosin
- SDS-PAGE, sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyarylamide gel electrophoresis
- SR-BI, scavenger receptor class B type I
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