Oxidative stress in alcoholic liver disease: Role of NADPH oxidase complex


Dr David A Brenner, UCSD School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, 1318 A Biomedical Sciences Building, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0602, USA. Email: dbrenner@ucsd.edu


Alcohol is a well-known risk factor for liver damage and is one of the major causes of liver disease worldwide. Chronic intake of alcohol, over a certain limit, inevitably leads to hepatic steatosis. If the injury persists, steatosis with concomitant tumor necrosis factor-α and other cytokines, progresses to steatohepatitis, fibrosis and finally cirrhosis. Among the multiple factors involved in the process of alcohol-induced liver injury, a crucial role is played by oxidative stress. Several mechanisms during ethanol metabolism result in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Although the main site of ethanol metabolism is hepatocytes, other mechanisms are involved in alcohol-induced liver injury. Specifically, in the ROS production activity, an important role is played by the NADPH oxidase complex. NADPH oxidase is expressed in hepatocytes, hepatic stellate cells and Kupffer cells in the liver. Studying NADPH oxidase gives new insights into alcohol-induced liver damage and provides new direction for future therapeutic strategies.