Now, much is known regarding the impact of chronic and heavy alcohol consumption on the disruption of physiological liver functions and the induction of structural distortions in the hepatic tissues in alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD). This review deliberates the effects of alcohol on the activity and properties of liver non-parenchymal cells (NPCs), which are either residential or infiltrated into the liver from the general circulation. NPCs play a pivotal role in the regulation of organ inflammation and fibrosis, both in the context of hepatotropic infections and in non-infectious settings. Here, we overview how NPC functions in ALD are regulated by second hits, such as gender and the exposure to bacterial or viral infections. As an example of the virus-mediated trigger of liver injury, we focused on HIV infections potentiated by alcohol exposure, since this combination was only limitedly studied in relation to the role of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) in the development of liver fibrosis. The review specifically focusses on liver macrophages, HSC, and T-lymphocytes and their regulation of ALD pathogenesis and outcomes. It also illustrates the activation of NPCs by the engulfment of apoptotic bodies, a frequent event observed when hepatocytes are exposed to ethanol metabolites and infections. As an example of such a double-hit-induced apoptotic hepatocyte death, we deliberate on the hepatotoxic accumulation of HIV proteins, which in combination with ethanol metabolites, causes intensive hepatic cell death and pro-fibrotic activation of HSCs engulfing these HIV- and malondialdehyde-expressing apoptotic hepatocytes.
- alcohol-associated liver disease
- hepatic stellate cells
- liver macrophages
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)