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Binge Ethanol and Liver: New Molecular Developments


Reprint requests: Shivendra D. Shukla, Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, MO 65202; Tel.: 573-882-2740; Fax: 573-884-4558; E-mail:


Binge consumption of alcohol is an alarming global health problem. Binge (acute) ethanol (EtOH) is implicated in the pathophysiology of alcoholic liver disease (ALD). New studies from experimental animals and from humans indicate that binge EtOH has profound effects on immunological, signaling, and epigenetic parameters of the liver. This is in addition to the known metabolic effects of acute EtOH. Binge EtOH alters the levels of several cellular components and dramatically amplifies liver injury in chronically EtOH exposed liver. These studies highlight the importance of molecular investigations into binge effects of EtOH for a better understanding of ALD and also to develop therapeutic strategies to control it. This review summarizes these recent developments.