Effect of ethanol on pro-apoptotic mechanisms in polarized hepatic cells

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Chronic ethanol consumption is associated with serious and potentially fatal alcohol-related liver injuries such as hepatomegaly, alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis. Moreover, it has been documented that the clinical progression of alcohol-induced liver damage may be associated with an increase in hepatocellular death that involves apoptotic mechanisms. Although much information has been learned about the clinical manifestations associated with alcohol-related diseases, the search continues for a better understanding of the molecular and/or cellular mechanisms by which ethanol exerts its deleterious effects such as the induction of pro-apoptotic mechanisms and related cell damaging events. As part of the effort to enhance our understanding of those particular cellular pathways and mechanisms associated with ethanol toxicity, researchers over the years have utilized a variety of model systems. Recently, work has come forth demonstrating the utility of a hybrid cell line (WIF-B) as a cell culture model system for the study of alcohol-associated alterations in hepatocellular mechanisms. Success with such emerging model systems could aid in the development of potential therapeutic treatments for the prevention of alcohol-induced apoptotic cell death that may ultimately serve as a significant target in delaying the onset and/or progression of clinical symptoms of alcohol-mediated liver disease. This review article summarizes the current understanding of ethanol-mediated modifications in cell survival and thus the promotion of pro-apoptotic events with emphasis on analyses made in various experimental model systems, particularly the more recently characterized WIF-B cell system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4960-4966
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number37
StatePublished - Oct 7 2007


  • Apoptosis
  • Caspase
  • Ethanol
  • Fas receptor
  • Hepatoma hybrid cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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