Background Obesity is associated with diabetes and gallstone formation. Obese leptin-deficient (Lep ob) and leptin-resistant (Lep db) mice are hyperglycemic and have enlarged gallbladders with diminished response in vitro to cholecystokinin (CCK) and acetylcholine (ACh). Whether this phenomenon is secondary to hyperosmolar myocytes and/or decreased neuromuscular transmission remains unclear. We hypothesize that myocytes from Lep ob and Lep db obese mice would not respond normally to neurotransmitters. Methods Cholecystectomy was performed on 39 lean, 19 Lep ob, and 20 Lep db 12-week-old female mice. The gallbladder was divided and enzymatically digested. Half of each gallbladder's myocytes had contraction induced by CCK (10 -8 mol/L, n=38) or ACh (10 -5 mol/L, n=40). Results Body weights, gallbladder volumes, and serum glucoses were greater for Lep ob and Lep db mice compared to controls (P < .001). Resting myocyte lengths from Lep ob and Lep db mice were 93% and 91% of the length of controls (P < .001). In response to CCK, lean myocytes shortened 6% (P < .01), while myocytes from obese mice demonstrated no shortening. None of the myocytes demonstrated significant shortening with ACh. Conclusions These data suggest that gallbladder myocytes from obese mice are (1) foreshortened and (2) have a diminished response to cholecystokinin. We conclude that altered leptin and/or increased glucose may foreshorten myocytes and decrease response to cholecystokinin.
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