Table of Contents
HPB Surgery
Volume 10, Issue 2, Pages 73-77

The Ability of Bile to Scavenge Superoxide Radicals and Pigment Gallstone Formation in Guinea Pigs

Department of Surgery, Third Teaching Hospital, Beijing Medical University, Beijing 100083, China

Received 10 February 1994

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


After partial ligation of the common bile duct (CBD) of guinea pigs, 14 of 16 animals developed pigment gallstones within one week (S group). Intraperitoneal injection of Vit. E and C, each 10 mg/kg daily from 3 days before CBD ligation to one week after the operation (S+V group), decreased the gallstone incidence to 5/14 (exact probability<0.01). The gallstone incidence in the control group, that only received laparotomy without ligation of the CBD, was 0/15. Biochemical analysis of the gallbladder bile showed that stricture of the CBD was associated with a significant increase in levels of unconjugated bilirubin (UCB) and Ca2+ (p<0.05 and <0.01). Simultaneously the scavenging rate (SR) of superoxide radical in bile significantly decreased (p<0.05). Comparing S+V group with S group, the effect of Vit. E and C on the concentrations of UCB and Ca2+ in bile was not significant (both p>0.05), but Vit. E and C normalized the SR, and the difference between S group and S+V group was significant (p<0.05). These results suggested that Vit. E and C, known as antioxidants, enhanced the ability to scavenge oxygen radical in S+V group; and that in addition to the increases of UCB and Ca2+ concentrations, the participation of oxygen radicals might be of importance for pigment gallstone formation induced by bile duct obstruction.