Arachidyl amido cholanoic acid (aramchol) is a cholesterol solubilizer and prevents the formation of cholesterol gallstones in inbred mice

Tuvia Gilat, Alicia Leikin-Frenkel, Ilana Goldiner, Hava Laufer, Zamir Halpern, Fred M. Konikoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have recently synthesized fatty acid bile acid conjugates (FABAC) that were able to reduce and retard cholesterol crystallization in model and human biles. When given orally, they prevented the formation of cholesterol crystals in the bile of hamsters. The aim of the present study was to determine whether the FABAC are cholesterol solubilizers, whether they can dissolve pre-existing crystals, whether they can prevent the formation of cholesterol gallstones, and to investigate the optimal type of bond between the fatty acid and bile acid. The presence of cholesterol crystals was determined by light microscopy, and the total crystal mass of precipitated crystals was measured by chemical means. Inbred (C57J/L) mice on a lithogenic diet were used to evaluate cholesterol crystal formation, dissolution, and gallstone formation in vivo. Arachidyl amido cholanoic acid (Aramchol) was the FABAC used in the present experiments. At equimolar amounts, the cholesterol-solubilizing capacity of Aramchol was higher than that of taurocholate and similar to that of phosphatidylcholine. The addition of Aramchol dissolved approximately 50% of pre-existing crystals in model bile solutions. The same phenomenon was demonstrated in human bile ex vivo, with a dose-response effect. All inbred mice developed cholesterol crystals in bile after 10-14 d on the lithogenic diet. Thereafter, supplementation of the diet with Aramchol progressively reduced the proportion of mice with crystals to 25% after 28 d. On the lithogenic diet, 100% of inbred mice developed cholesterol gallstones in the gallbladder by day 21. None of the mice whose diet was supplemented with 0.5 mg or 1.0 mg of Aramchol/d developed stones or crystals. FABAC are a new class of molecules that are cholesterol solubilizers and which are able to dissolve cholesterol crystals in bile. Upon oral administration, they dissolve pre-existing cholesterol crystals and prevent the formation of gallstones in gallstonesusceptible mice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number824
Pages (from-to)1135-1140
Number of pages6
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2001


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