Effects of Chenodeoxycholic and Ursodeoxycholic Acids on Lipid Metabolism and Gallstone Formation in the Prairie Dog

Bertram I. Cohen, Anil K. Singhal, Richard J. Stenger, Patricia May‐Donath, Judith Finver‐Sadowsky, Charles K. Mcsherry, Erwin H. Mosbach

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24 Scopus citations


The prevention of cholesterol cholelithiasis by dietary chenodeoxycholic and ursodeoxycholic acids was studied in the male prairie dog (Cynotttys ludovicianus). Gallstones were induced by administration of a semisynthetic diet containing 0.4% cholesterol for a period of 8 weeks. Groups of 5 or 6 animals received the lithogenic diet with added chenodeoxycholic or ursodeoxycholic acid (0.03% “low dose” or 0.06% “high dose”). Under the conditions used, the incidence of gallstones was reduced with the high dose of chenodeoxycholic acid and the low dose of ursodeoxycholic acid, but cholesterol crystals were detected in the biles of 20 of the 22 animals fed these bile acids. A control group maintained on a low (0.08%) cholesterol semisynthetic diet exhibited neither crystals nor stones and was the only group with a lithogenic index below 1.0. The administered bile acids tended to reduce the accumulation of cholesterol in liver and plasma. The activity of hepatic HMG‐CoA reductase was significantly inhibited with all cholesterol‐supplemented diets. Cholesterol 7α‐hydroxylase activity was elevated 83% in prairie dogs fed 0.4% cholesterol, but tended to return to normal levels when bile acids were added to this diet. Histologically, the livers of all animals on the semisynthetic (cholesterol‐supplemented) diet exhibited bile duct proliferation, as well as portal fibrosis and inflammatory infiltration. These morphologic alterations were ameliorated by low dose supplementation with either chenodeoxycholic or ursodeoxycholic acid, but high dose bile acid supplementation failed to reduce these pathologic changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-307
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1984


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