Scientists from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg discovered the mechanism of stone formation in three organs at once – the gall bladder, kidneys and salivary gland.
See also: How to independently identify problems with the gallbladder
Scientists not only followed all stages of stone formation, but also proposed a new therapeutic treatment strategy.
Gallstone disease – what is it? Gallstone disease is a disease of the hepatobiliary system of an exchange nature, which is manifested by the formation of calculi in the gallbladder (cholecystolithiasis), in the common bile duct (choledocholithiasis) and less often in the hepatic biliary tract (intrahepatic cholelithiasis). This disease is noted in about 10% of the world's population.
Previous studies indicate that crystals form in the nucleation processes, in particular, in the case of the gallbladder, these are cholesterol crystals.
Studying the structure of stones, scientists found that they are covered with traces of a special type of white blood cells, which are called neutrophilic granulocytes. These cells are the first line of defense of the body against pathogenic agents; when crystals are detected, they also identify them as a threat.
“By attacking the crystals, the cells die and cover the crystals with their genetic material, imitating a grid. Then this grid wraps around the crystals and combines them together. That's how stones form, taking a different shape.”
The formation of stones in organs
Studying bile samples, scientists found that getting into a sticky environment, the nets are connected together with crystals of cholesterol and calcium.
"The formation of stones in the gallbladder can be slowed down or even stopped if you act on these nets," said the author of the study, Lius Munoz.
The results of the study are important for studying the nature of the formation of other types of stones, for example, in the kidneys and salivary gland, scientists conclude, and therefore the research will continue.
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