In this study we have demonstrated that in native bile, lipids are organized in the form of a lipoprotein (bile LP) carrying albumin as apoprotein. The lipid composition of bile LP is almost identical to lipoprotein-X (LP-X, the characteristic lipoprotein of cholestasis). However, it differs from LP-X inits protein/lipid ratio and immunological and electrophoretic characteristics. Bile lipoprotein can be converted into "LP-X-like" material in vitro by adding albumin or serum to native bile. The LP-X-like material formed in vitro has physicochemical and chemical characteristics similar or identical to LP-X isolated from serum. As bile lipoprotein can be converted into LP-X-like material by the addition of albumin to bile, LP-X can be converted into bile-LP-like particles by adding bile salts to a LP-X-positive serum. Furthermore, experimental connection of the common bile duct to the vena cava is followed after a few hours by the appearance of LP-X-like material in the plasma. These facts taken together strongly suggest that bile LP is a precursor lipoprotein for LP-X and that it refluxes into the plasma pool under cholestatic conditions.
E Manzato, R Fellin, G Baggio, S Walch, W Neubeck, D Seidel