Chronic ethanol administration impairs the binding and endocytosis of asialo-orosomucoid in isolated hepatocytes.

C. A. Casey, S. L. Kragskow, M. F. Sorrell, D. J. Tuma

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116 Scopus citations


We have examined the effect of ethanol administration on receptor-mediated endocytosis of asialo-orosomucoid by isolated hepatocytes. Significantly less ligand was bound, internalized, and degraded by hepatocytes isolated from rats fed an ethanol diet for 5-7 weeks than by cells isolated from chow-fed or pair-fed controls. Reduced binding was shown to be primarily due to a decreased number of cell surface receptors rather than to a lowered affinity of the receptor for its ligand. This reduction in cell surface receptors resulted in a marked inhibition of internalization and degradation of ligand by hepatocytes from the ethanol-fed rats. In addition, a defect in the initial stages of receptor-ligand internalization was also indicated, since less surface-bound ligand was internalized and subsequently degraded in cells from the ethanol-treated animals as compared to controls. Rates of internalization and degradation of internalized ligand were, however, similar for all three groups, suggesting that neither degradation per se nor rate of delivery of internalized ligand to the lysosomes was affected by ethanol feeding. Receptor recycling was impaired in ethanol-fed rats, as indicated by a decrease in the binding site number after stimulation of endocytosis for 120 min when compared to initial binding capacity. Receptor recycling was not impaired in hepatocytes from control animals. These results indicate that chronic ethanol feeding impairs the process of receptor-mediated endocytosis by the liver; the major cause of this impairment appears to be due to a decreased number of cell surface asialoglycoprotein receptors in the ethanol-fed animals, along with a decreased ability of these cells to internalize all of the surface-bound ligand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2704-2710
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 25 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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