Acute intraduodenal bile salt depletion leads to strong gallbladder contraction, altered antroduodenal motility and high plasma motilin levels in humans

Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2000 Oct;12(5):421-30. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2982.2000.00217.x.


Cholecystokinin is the main hormone involved in postprandial gallbladder contraction. There is also considerable gallbladder contraction in the fasting state, associated with phase III of the gastrointestinal migrating motor complex and release of the hormone motilin. It has been proposed that intraduodenal bile salts exert a negative-feedback control on postprandial cholecystokinin release and resulting gallbladder contraction. We wanted to elucidate whether a similar control mechanism on gallbladder contraction exists in the fasting state. We therefore performed gallbladder ultrasonography and 24-h antroduodenal motility registrations and determined plasma cholecystokinin and motilin levels in six healthy subjects before and after acute (4 g) and chronic (8 days; 8 g day(-1)) oral cholestyramine. Acute cholestyramine strongly decreased gallbladder volumes and increased motilin without changed cholecystokinin levels. There was a negative relationship between gallbladder volumes and plasma motilin levels. Although there was a persistent fasting pattern of antroduodenal motility, its cycle length was increased (P < 0.03) with markedly longer phase II (P < 0. 005). Fasting gallbladder volumes 24 h later were still strongly decreased but gradually increased to pretreatment levels. Before and after 8 days cholestyramine, interdigestive and postprandial gallbladder emptying, intestinal migrating motor complex and hormone levels did not differ. We conclude that acute (but not chronic) intraduodenal bile salt depletion with cholestyramine affects gallbladder and antroduodenal motility, possibly partly related to motilin release.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Cholecystokinin / blood
  • Cholestyramine Resin / administration & dosage*
  • Cholestyramine Resin / metabolism
  • Duodenum / drug effects
  • Duodenum / physiology
  • Female
  • Gallbladder Emptying / drug effects*
  • Gallbladder Emptying / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motilin / blood*
  • Myoelectric Complex, Migrating / drug effects*
  • Myoelectric Complex, Migrating / physiology
  • Regression Analysis
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Cholestyramine Resin
  • Motilin
  • Cholecystokinin