Effects of chronic ethanol administration on the endocytosis of cytokines by rat hepatocytes

Dean J. Tuma, Sandra L. Todero, Mary Barak-Bernhagen, Michael F. Sorrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The effects of chronic ethanol administration on the endocytosis of three representative cytokines were investigated in isolated rat hepatocytes. When hepatocytes were isolated from rats that were fed an ethanol liquid diet for 12 to 13 weeks, these cells exhibited a decreased ability to internalize and degrade transforming growth factor-α, tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6, compared with hepatocytes from the pair-fed controls. This impaired endocytosis of all three cytokines was accompanied by significant decreases in the amount of hepatocyte surface-bound cytokine. Changes in cytokine binding to surface receptors and reduced rates of receptor-cytokine complex internalization into the cells seem to be major contributors to defective endocytosis in hepatocytes from the ethanol-fed rats. Impaired hepatocyte endocytosis could lead to altered steady-state levels of cytokines in the liver and modified physiological responses to cytokines. These changes could affect homeostasis among the various cell types in the liver and could contribute to liver dysfunction and injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-583
Number of pages5
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytokines
  • Endocytosis
  • Ethanol
  • Hepatocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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