last updated 16-07-2024

Regulation of the gallbladder


The gallbladder serves two major functions: bile storage and bile modification. The bile produced by the liver is concentrated and stored in the gallbladder. Without food in the stomach, the sphincter of Oddi is closed and the bile remains in the gallbladder.

Upon the arrival of lipid-containing food in the duodenum (1), cells in the wall of the duodenum release cholecystokinin (CCK) (2,3). Via the circulation (4) CCK reaches the gallbladder and stimulates contraction of the bladder (5). CCK also relaxes the sphincter of Oddi (6), resulting in the secretion of bile into the duodenum.

Bile salts disperse fat droplets; this is called emulsification (7). The bile salts also facilitate the interaction between pancreatic lipid-digesting enzymes and lipids and absorption by the intestine.


Which of the following has NOT been associated with an increased risk of cholesterol gallstone formation?