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Bile composition in the pregnant rabbit

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To determine if there are changes in bile composition related to pregnancy, bile was collected from the hepatic duct and the gallbladder of normal and 3-week pregnant female rabbits. Bile acids were separated by thin-layer chromatography and measured by an enzymatic procedure. The relative and absolute concentrations of the bile acids in hepatic bile were the same for the 2 groups of animals. Glycodeoxycholic was the major bile acid, while glycochenodeoxycholic was the second most abundant. The relative concentration of glycine conjugates was higher in the gallbladder than in hepatic bile, while concentrations of lithocholate, unconjugated dihydroxy acids and two minor unidentified acids were lower; these differences between hepatic and gallbladder bile are most readily explained by reabsorption on unconjugated mono- and dihydroxy acids through the gallbladder wall. The differences were more marked in pregnant animals; this may be due to biliary stasis and increased time for reabsorption.

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Correspondence to Norman Kalant MD, PhD.

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Supported by a grant from the Medical Research Council of Canada.

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Johnson, J., Kalant, N. Bile composition in the pregnant rabbit. Digest Dis Sci 17, 1–6 (1972).

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  • Bile Acid
  • Hepatic Duct
  • Dihydroxy
  • Absolute Concentration
  • Gallbladder Wall