Cholesterol is secreted into bile as cholesterol-phospholipid vesicles. The cholesterol and phospholipid are subsequently exposed to the bile salts contained in the bile, which leads to the process of micellation. Two situations may arise depending on whether there is enough bile salt in proportion to cholesterol to complete this ''maturation'' process. If the cholesterol saturation is low, at equilibrium the bile salts will have completely micellized the vesicles. On the other hand, if bile is saturated with cholesterol, the micellation process is incomplete and vesicles and micelles will be present at equilibrium. The residual vesicle in this latter situation may have a higher cholesterol/phospholipid ratio because of the greater propensity of phospholipid to be micellized. This situation may result in cholesterol nucleation. The mechanism of nucleation from vesicles and the possible role of nucleating and antinucleating proteins in this process have been discussed.
|Issue number||3 II|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1990|