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Keywords:

  • Toll-Like Receptor 4;
  • Interferon Regulatory Factor 3;
  • Kupffer Cells

Inflammatory cell and cytokine cascade activation is present in humans with alcoholic liver disease as well as in animal models of alcohol-induced liver damage. Gut-derived lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a ligand of the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), plays a central role in triggering and maintaining activation of Kupffer cells in alcoholic hepatitis. In this mini-review, we describe molecular mechanisms that lead to increased inflammatory cell activation by alcohol and LPS and discuss the mechanism for activation in alcohol-exposed macrophages. In alcohol-induced liver disease we discuss the role of MyD88-independent but IRF3-mediated TLR4 signaling in alcohol-related liver inflammation and liver damage.