Use of novel cationic bile salts in cholesterol crystallization and solubilization in vitro

Shreedhar Bhat, Diana Leikin-Gobbi, Fred M. Konikoff*, Uday Maitra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Unnatural bile salts have been synthesized with a cationic group at the side chain of natural bile acids. These cationic bile salts aggregate in water and aqueous salt solutions in a manner similar to their natural counterparts. The critical micellar concentrations of the cationic bile salts were measured using a fluorescence method. Cationic bile salts aggregated at a concentration lower than natural deoxycholic acid. Since dihydroxy bile salt micelles are well known for cholesterol dissolution/removal, the dissolution in the cationic micelles has been evaluated. The cationic analogs dissolve approximately 70 mg/dL of cholesterol, which is comparable to taurochenodeoxycholate micelle under identical bile salt concentrations. Cholesterol dissolution in cationic bile salt micelle enhanced upon adding various amounts of PC. Cholesterol crystallization was studied in model bile at various cationic bile salt concentrations. The addition of 5, 15 and 30 mM of the cationic bile salts attenuated the crystallization process, without influencing the crystal observation time or decreasing the final amount of crystals formed. All these effects were comparable to those observed with cholic acid. These findings suggest that cationic bile salts have physico-chemical properties analogous to those of natural anionic bile salts, and thus may have therapeutic potential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1489-1496
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cationic bile salt
  • Cationic micelle
  • Cholesterol crystallization
  • Cholesterol dissolution
  • Pyrene probe
  • log P value


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