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Biliary Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Telocytes in Gallstone Disease


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It has been reported that intake of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. It also influences bile composition, decreasing biliary cholesterol saturation in the bile of patients with gallstones. In addition to bile composition disturbances, gallbladder hypomotility must be a cofactor in the pathogenesis of cholelithiasis, as it leads to the prolonged nucleation phase. Our current knowledge about gallbladder motility has been enhanced by the study of a population of newly described interstitial (stromal) cells—telocytes (TCs). The purpose of this study was to determine whether TC loss, reported by our team recently, might be related to bile lithogenicity, expressed as cholesterol saturation index or the difference in biliary PUFA profiles in patients who suffer from cholecystolithiasis and those not affected by this disease. We determined biliary lipid composition including the fatty acid composition of the phospholipid species in bile. Thus, we investigated whether differences in biliary fatty acid profiles (ω-3 PUFA and ω-6 PUFA) in gallbladder bile may influence its lithogenicity and the quantity of TCs within the gallbladder wall. We conclude that the altered PUFA concentrations in the gallbladder bile, with elevation of ω-6 PUFA, constitute important factors influencing TC density in the gallbladder wall, being one of the possible pathophysiological components for the gallstone disease development. This study established that altered bile composition in patients with cholelithiasis may influence TC quantity within the gallbladder muscle, and we concluded that reduction in TC number may be a consequence of the supersaturated bile toxicity, while some other bile components (ω-3 PUFA, glycocholic, and taurocholic acids) may exert protective effects on TC and thus possibly influence the mechanisms regulating gallbladder and extrahepatic bile duct motility. Thus, ω-3 PUFA may represent a possible option to prevent formation of cholesterol gallstones.
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Keywords: Bile lithogenicity; Biliary fatty acids; Cholesterol saturation index (CSI); Gallstones; Interstitial Cajal-like cells; Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs); Telocytes (TCs)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: First Department of General, Oncological and Gastrointestinal Surgery, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland

Publication date: January 24, 2017

This article was made available online on August 5, 2016 as a Fast Track article with title: "Biliary polyunsaturated fatty acids and telocytes in gallstone disease.".

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