Evaluation of the chemopreventive potentials of ezetimibe and aspirin in a novel mouse model of gallbladder preneoplasia
ABSTRACT: A novel mouse model of gallbladder preneoplasia secondary to diet?induced stones progresses in parallel with intense inflammation. Ezetimibe inhibits stone formation, inflammation, and metaplasia–dysplasia development. Aspirin does not reduce stone formation, however, ameliorates inflammation and preneoplasia onset (but only in a low?cholesterol diet). This model recapitulates the metaplasia–dysplasia sequence observed in humans and is suitable for gallbladder carcinogenesis research. Gallbladder stones (cholecystolithiasis) are the main risk factor for gallbladder cancer (GBC), a lethal biliary malignancy with poor survival rates worldwide. Gallbladder stones are thought to damage the gallbladder epithelium and trigger chronic inflammation. Preneoplastic lesions that arise in such an inflammatory microenvironment can eventually develop into invasive carcinoma, through mechanisms that are not fully understood. Here, we developed a novel gallbladder preneoplasia mouse model through the administration of two lithogenic diets (a low? or a high?cholesterol diet) in wild?type C57BL/6 mice over a period of 9 months. Additionally, we evaluated the chemopreventive potentials of the anti?inflammatory drug aspirin and the cholesterol absorption inhibitor ezetimibe. Both lithogenic diets induced early formation of gallbladder stones, together with extensive inflammatory changes and widespread induction of metaplasia, an epithelial adaptation to tissue injury. Dysplastic lesions were presented only in mice fed with high?cholesterol diet (62.5%) in late stages (9th month), and no invasive carcinoma was observed at any stage. The cholesterol absorption inhibitor ezetimibe inhibited gallbladder stone formation and completely prevented the onset of metaplasia and dysplasia in both lithogenic diets, whereas aspirin partially reduced metaplasia development only in the low?cholesterol diet setting. This model recapitulates several of the structural and inflammatory findings observed in human cholecystolithiasic gallbladders, making it relevant for the study of gallbladder carcinogenesis. In addition, our results suggest that the use of cholesterol absorption inhibitors and anti?inflammatory drugs can be evaluated as chemopreventive strategies to reduce the burden of GBC among high?risk populations.
Project description:Compelling evidence has demonstrated that estrogen is a critical risk factor for gallstone formation and enhances cholesterol cholelithogenesis through the hepatic estrogen receptor ? (ER?), but not ER?. To study the lithogenic mechanisms of estrogen through ER?, we investigated whether the deletion of Er? protects against gallstone formation in ovariectomized (OVX) female mice fed a lithogenic diet and treated with 17?-estradiol (E2) at 0 or 6?g/day for 56days. Our results showed that the prevalence of gallstones was reduced from 100% in OVX ER? (+/+) mice to 30% in OVX ER? (-/-) mice in response to high doses of E2 and the lithogenic diet for 56days. Hepatic cholesterol secretion was significantly diminished in OVX ER? (-/-) mice compared to OVX ER? (+/+) mice even fed the lithogenic diet and treated with E2 for 56days. These alterations decreased bile lithogenicity by reducing cholesterol saturation index of gallbladder bile. Immunohistochemical studies revealed that ER? was expressed mainly in the gallbladder smooth muscle cells. High levels of E2 impaired gallbladder emptying function mostly through the ER? and cholecystokinin-1 receptor pathway, leading to gallbladder stasis in OVX ER? (+/+) mice. By contrast, gallbladder emptying function was greatly improved in OVX ER? (-/-) mice. This markedly retarded cholesterol crystallization and the growth and agglomeration of solid cholesterol crystals into microlithiasis and stones. In conclusion, the deletion of Er? reduces susceptibility to the formation of E2-induced gallstones by diminishing hepatic cholesterol secretion, desaturating gallbladder bile, and improving gallbladder contraction function in female mice.
Project description:Celiac disease is an autoimmune enteropathy caused by a permanent intolerance to dietary gluten in genetically predisposed individuals. Cholecystokinin (CCK) release from the proximal small intestine and gallbladder emptying in response to a fatty meal are greatly reduced in celiac patients before they start the gluten-free diet, showing a genetic predisposition to gallstones.To elucidate the complex pathophysiological mechanisms determining the biliary characteristic of celiac disease, we investigated the effect of the absence of endogenous CCK on cholesterol crystallization and gallstone formation in mice fed a lithogenic diet for 28 days.Fasting gallbladder volumes were increased and the response of gallbladder emptying to the high-fat diet was impaired in CCK knockout (KO) mice compared to wild-type mice. Because of the absence of CCK, small intestinal transit time was prolonged and intestinal cholesterol absorption was increased. During 28 days of feeding, elevated biliary cholesterol concentrations and gallbladder stasis promoted the growth and agglomeration of solid cholesterol crystals into microlithiasis and stones. Thus, cholesterol crystallization and gallstone formation were accelerated in CCK KO mice. In contrast, daily intraperitoneal administration of CCK-8 reduced gallstone formation in CCK KO mice even on the lithogenic diet.The lack of endogenous CCK enhances susceptibility to gallstones by impairing gallbladder contractile function and small intestinal motility function. These findings show that celiac disease is an important risk factor for gallstone formation and the gallbladder motility function should be routinely examined by ultrasonography and gallbladder stasis should be prevented in celiac patients.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Obesity is often associated with increased biliary cholesterol secretion resulting in cholesterol gallstone formation. We have previously demonstrated that leptin-deficient C57Bl/6J Lep ob obese mice have abnormal biliary motility and are prone to cholesterol crystal formation. In addition, others have demonstrated that leptin-deficient mice when fed a lithogenic diet for eight weeks are not prone to gallstone formation. However, the biliary lipid and in vivo cholesterol crystal response of homozygous and heterozygous leptin-deficient mice to four weeks on a lithogenic diet has not been studied. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that lithogenic diets influence gallbladder bile composition, serum lipids and cholesterol crystal formation in homozygous and heterozygous leptin-deficient mice compared to normal lean controls. METHODS: 319 female lean control mice, 280 heterozygous lep ob obese mice and 117 homozygous lep ob obese mice were studied. Mice were fed either a lithogenic or control non-lithogenic chow diet for four weeks. Gallbladder volumes were measured, and bile was pooled to calculate cholesterol saturation indices. Serum cholesterol, glucose, and leptin levels were determined. Hepatic fat vacuoles were counted, and bile was observed microscopically for cholesterol crystal formation. RESULTS: The lithogenic diet and mouse strain influenced body and liver weights, gallbladder volume, cholesterol crystal formation, serum cholesterol, glucose and leptin levels and hepatic fat vacuole numbers. However, only diet, not strain, altered biliary cholesterol saturation. CONCLUSION: The association among obesity, leptin, and gallstone formation may be primarily related to altered gallbladder motility and cholesterol crystal formation and only secondarily to biliary cholesterol saturation.
Project description:Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi can colonize the gallbladder and persist in an asymptomatic carrier state that is frequently associated with the presence of gallstones. We have shown that salmonellae form bile-mediated biofilms on human gallstones and cholesterol-coated surfaces in vitro. Here, we test the hypothesis that biofilms on cholesterol gallbladder stones facilitate typhoid carriage in mice and men. Naturally resistant (Nramp1(+/+)) mice fed a lithogenic diet developed cholesterol gallstones that supported biofilm formation during persistent serovar Typhimurium infection and, as a result, demonstrated enhanced fecal shedding and enhanced colonization of gallbladder tissue and bile. In typhoid endemic Mexico City, 5% of enrolled cholelithiasis patients carried serovar Typhi, and bacterial biofilms could be visualized on gallstones from these carriers whereas significant biofilms were not detected on gallstones from Escherichia coli infected gallbladders. These findings offer direct evidence that gallstone biofilms occur in humans and mice, which facilitate gallbladder colonization and shedding.
Project description:To investigate the role of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-? (PPAR?) in the progression of cholesterol gallstone disease (CGD), C57bl/6J mice were randomized to the following groups (n=7/group): L (lithogenic diet, LGD), LM (LGD+pioglitazone), CM (chow diet+pioglitazone), and NC (normal control, chow diet). Gallbladder stones were observed by microscopy. Histological gallbladder changes were assessed. Bile acids (BA) and cholesterol were measured in the serum, bile, and feces. Proteins and mRNA expression of genes involved in BA metabolism and enterohepatic circulation were assessed by western blotting and real-time RT-PCR. PPAR? activation was performed in LO2 cell by lentivirus transfection and in Caco2 cell by PPAR? agonist treatment. Downregulation of farnesoid X receptor (FXR) by small interference RNA (siRNA) was performed in L02 cells and Caco2 cells, respectively. Results showed that pharmacological activation of PPAR? by pioglitazone prevents cholesterol gallstone formation by increasing biliary BA synthesis and enterohepatic circulation. Activated PPAR? induced the expression of genes involved in enterohepatic circulation and bile acid synthesis (like PCG1?, BSEP, MRP2, MRP3, MRP4, NTCP, CYP7A1, CYP27A1, ASBT, OST?, and OST?). Downregulation of FXR repressed expression of partial genes involved in BA enterohepatic circulation. These findings suggest a new function of PPAR? in preventing CGD by handling BA synthesis and transport through a FXR dependent or independent pathway.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to analyze gallbladder stones for direct evidence of a relationship between Clonorchis sinensis infection and gallbladder stones formation. METHODOLOGY: We investigated one hundred eighty-three gallbladder stones for the presence of Clonorchis sinensis eggs using microscopy, and analyzed their composition using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. We confirmed the presence of Clonorchis sinensis eggs in the gallbladder stones using real-time fluorescent PCR and scanning electron microscopy. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Clonorchis sinensis eggs were detected in 122 of 183 gallbladder stones based on morphologic characteristics and results from real-time fluorescent PCR. The proportion of pigment stones, cholesterol stones and mixed gallstones in the egg-positive stones was 79.5% (97/122), 3.3% (4/122) and 17.2% (21/122), respectively, while 29.5% (18/61), 31.1% (19/61) and 39.3% (24/61) in the egg-negative stones. The proportion of pigment stone in the Clonorchis sinensis egg-positive stones was higher than in egg-negative stones (P<0.0001). In the 30 egg-positive stones examined by scanning electron microscopy, dozens or even hundreds of Clonorchis sinensis eggs were visible (×400) showing a distinct morphology. Many eggs were wrapped with surrounding particles, and in some, muskmelon wrinkles was seen on the surface of the eggs. Also visible were pieces of texture shed from some of the eggs. Some eggs were depressed or without operculum while most eggs were adhered to or wrapped with amorphous particles or mucoid matter (×3000). CONCLUSION: Clonorchis sinensis eggs were detected in the gallbladder stones which suggests an association between Clonorchis sinensis infection and gallbladder stones formation, especially pigment stones.
Project description:BACKGROUND; Decreased gallbladder smooth muscle (GBSM) contractility is a hallmark of cholesterol gallstone disease, but the interrelationship between lithogenicity, biliary stasis, and inflammation are poorly understood. We studied a mouse model of gallstone disease to evaluate the development of GBSM dysfunction relative to changes in bile composition and the onset of sterile cholecystitis.BALB/cJ mice were fed a lithogenic diet for up to 8 weeks, and tension generated by gallbladder muscle strips was measured. Smooth muscle Ca(2+) transients were imaged in intact gallbladder.Lipid composition of bile was altered lithogenically as early as 1 week, with increased hydrophobicity and cholesterol saturation indexes; however, inflammation was not detectable until the fourth week. Agonist-induced contractility was reduced from weeks 2 through 8. GBSM normally exhibits rhythmic synchronized Ca(2+) flashes, and their frequency is increased by carbachol (3 ?m). After 1 week, lithogenic diet-fed mice exhibited disrupted Ca(2+) flash activity, manifesting as clustered flashes, asynchronous flashes, or prolonged quiescent periods. These changes could lead to a depletion of intracellular Ca(2+) stores, which are required for agonist-induced contraction, and diminished basal tone of the organ. Responsiveness of Ca(2+) transients to carbachol was reduced in mice on the lithogenic diet, particularly after 4-8 weeks, concomitant with appearance of mucosal inflammatory changes.These observations demonstrate that GBSM dysfunction is an early event in the progression of cholesterol gallstone disease and that it precedes mucosal inflammation.
Project description:Cholesterol gallstone disease is a complex genetic trait and induced by multiple but as yet unknown genes. A major Lith gene, Lith1 was first identified on chromosome 2 in gallstone-susceptible C57L mice compared with resistant AKR mice. Abcb11, encoding the canalicular bile salt export pump in the hepatocyte, co-localizes with the Lith1 QTL region and its hepatic expression is significantly higher in C57L mice than in AKR mice.To investigate whether Abcb11 influences cholesterol gallstone formation, we created an Abcb11 transgenic strain on the AKR genetic background and fed these mice with a lithogenic diet for 56 days.We excluded functionally relevant polymorphisms of the Abcb11 gene and its promoter region between C57L and AKR mice. Overexpression of Abcb11 significantly promoted biliary bile salt secretion and increased circulating bile salt pool size and bile salt-dependent bile flow rate. However, biliary cholesterol and phospholipid secretion, as well as gallbladder size and contractility were comparable in transgenic and wild-type mice. At 56 days on the lithogenic diet, cholesterol saturation indexes of gallbladder biles and gallstone prevalence rates were essentially similar in these two groups of mice.Overexpression of Abcb11 augments biliary bile salt secretion, but does not affect cholelithogenesis in mice.
Project description:Niemann-Pick C1-like 1 (NPC1L1) facilitates the uptake of sterols into the enterocyte and is the target of the novel cholesterol absorption inhibitor, ezetimibe. These studies used the Golden Syrian hamster as a model to delineate the changes in the relative mRNA expression of NPC1L1 and other proteins that regulate sterol homeostasis in the enterocyte during and following cessation of ezetimibe treatment and also to address the clinically important question of whether the marked inhibition of cholesterol absorption alters biliary lipid composition. In hamsters fed a low-cholesterol, low-fat basal diet, the abundance of mRNA for NPC1L1 in the small intestine far exceeded that in other regions of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, and gallbladder. In the first study, female hamsters were fed the basal diet containing ezetimibe at doses up to 2.0 mg.day(-1).kg body wt(-1). At this dose, cholesterol absorption fell by 82%, fecal neutral sterol excretion increased by 5.3-fold, and hepatic and intestinal cholesterol synthesis increased more than twofold, but there were no significant changes in either fecal bile acid excretion or biliary lipid composition. The ezetimibe-induced changes in intestinal cholesterol handling were reversed when treatment was withdrawn. In a second study, male hamsters were given a diet enriched in cholesterol and safflower oil without or with ezetimibe. The lipid-rich diet raised the absolute and relative cholesterol levels in bile more than fourfold. This increase was largely prevented by ezetimibe. These data are consistent with the recent finding that ezetimibe treatment significantly reduced biliary cholesterol saturation in patients with gallstones.
Project description:Cholesterol gallstone disease (CGD) results from a biochemical imbalance of lipids and bile salts in the gallbladder bile. We investigated whether the xenobiotic receptor pregnane X receptor (PXR) has a role in pathogenesis of CGD.Wild-type, PXR-null (PXR-/-), and CGD-sensitive C57L mice were placed on a lithogenic diet and then analyzed for CGD at the biochemical, histological, and gene-regulation levels.Loss of PXR sensitized mice to lithogenic diet-induced CGD, characterized by decreases in biliary concentrations of bile salts and phospholipids and an increases in the cholesterol saturation index and formation of cholesterol crystals. The decreased bile acid pool size in PXR-/- mice that received lithogenic diets was associated with reduced expression of cholesterol 7?-hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme of cholesterol catabolism and bile acid formation. The reduced expression of cholesterol 7?-hydroxylase most likely resulted from activation of farnesoid X receptor and induction of fibroblast growth factor 15 in the intestine. In C57L mice given the PXR agonist, pregnenolone-16?-carbonitrile, or the herbal medicine, St John's wort, cholesterol precipitation was prevented by increases in concentrations of biliary bile salt and a reduced cholesterol saturation index. PXR prevented CGD via its coordinate regulation of the biosynthesis and transport of bile salts in the liver and intestine.PXR maintains biliary bile acid homeostasis and may be developed as a therapeutic target for CGD.