A high plasma cholesterol level, especially low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, indicates increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Plasma cholesterol levels are influenced by diet and cholesterol biosynthesis, uptake, and secretion. Cholesterol uptake involves solubilization into complex phospholipid spherical bodies termed micelles that facilitate the transport of lipids through the gut brush border membrane into enterocytes. In vitro assays reported to date to determine potential cholesterollowering effects of various compounds require artificial micelle preparations that are elaborate and time-consuming to prepare. The aims of this study were to compare the efficacy of artificially prepared micelles with naturally derived micelles from pig's bile and to test their ability to assess potential inhibitors of cholesterol uptake. The suitability of pig's bile-derived micelles was tested both at the level of the micelle and at cellular uptake using cultured Caco-2 cells. Known cholesterol uptake inhibitors at the micelle (green tea catechins) and at the Caco-2 cell (βlactoglobulin-derived peptide, IIAEK) were used as reference inhibitory compounds. It was concluded that pig's bile was a rapid, reproducible, convenient, and cost-effective source of micelles for cholesterol micelle solubility and cellular uptake assay systems and is suitable for screening purposes focused on identifying potential cholesterol-lowering agents.
- Caco-2 cells
- Pig's bile