[Effect of traditional Chinese herbs for nourishing the liver on intracellular free calcium level in gallbladder cells of guinea pigs with gallstones].
ABSTRACT To observe the changes of intracellular free calcium level ([Ca(2+)]i) in gallbladder cells of guinea pigs with gallstones so as to study the mechanisms of gallstone formation and the prevention and treatment function of traditional Chinese herbs for nourishing the liver.
Eighty guinea pigs were randomly divided into four groups, which were normal control group, untreated group, nourishing-liver Chinese drug (NLCD) group and ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) group, with 20 guinea pigs in each group. Gallstones were induced in the guinea pigs of the latter 3 groups by the feed of diet inducing cholelithiasis with high cholesterol, while the corresponding medicines were used in NLCD group and UDCA group for prevention and treatment for 7 weeks. Then the state of the guinea pigs, the formation of gallstones, and the changes of [Ca(2+)]i in gallbladder cells were observed.
The [Ca(2+)]i in gallbladder cells of guinea pigs in the untreated group was decreased significantly. NLCD improved the behavioral signs of the guinea pigs, significantly decreased the formative rate of gallstones and increased the [Ca(2+)]i in gallbladder cells.
The [Ca(2+)]i in gallbladder cells is the important factor for contractile function of gallbladder and the information of gallstones. Traditional Chinese herbs for nourishing the liver may significantly increase the [Ca(2+)]i in gallbladder cells to facilitate contraction of the smooth muscle cells of gallbladder and relieve the cholestatis. It may be one of the mechanisms of traditional Chinese herbs for nourishing the liver in preventing and treating cholelithiasis.