Polyamines — potential nucleating factors in bile

Fred Konikoff, Gideon Goldman, Zamir Halpern, Giora J. Somjen, Tuvia Gilat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ABSTRACT— Lithogenicity of human bile is dependent not only on cholesterol saturation, but also on the presence of nucleating and antinucleating factors. Most of the research in this field is directed toward biliary proteins, particularly glycoproteins. In the present study we have shown that spermine, spermidine, cadaverine and putrescine have a nucleating effect in model bile as well as in native human bile. These findings are based on 183 mixing experiments using biles from 10 patients and model biles. The effect seems to be dose dependent at concentrations up to 10 mmol/l. It is not accompanied by a shift in cholesterol distribution between its vesicular and micellar carriers. It is at present uncertain whether these effects are pharmacologic or physiologic. These findings emphasize, however, the potential importance of non‐protein compounds in the cholesterol nucleation process in bile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-176
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1990


  • bile
  • gallstones
  • nucleating factors
  • polyamines


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