Get access

Investigating the Pathobiology of Alcoholic Pancreatitis

Authors

  • Stephen J. Pandol,

    1. From the Pancreatic Research Group (SJP, AL, OAM, ASG, IG), Department of Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles, University of California Los Angeles, and Southern California Research Center for Alcoholic Liver and Pancreatic Diseases, Los Angeles, California; Howard University (DS), Washington, District of Columbia; and Yale University (FSG), New Haven, Connecticut.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Aurelia Lugea,

    1. From the Pancreatic Research Group (SJP, AL, OAM, ASG, IG), Department of Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles, University of California Los Angeles, and Southern California Research Center for Alcoholic Liver and Pancreatic Diseases, Los Angeles, California; Howard University (DS), Washington, District of Columbia; and Yale University (FSG), New Haven, Connecticut.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Olga A. Mareninova,

    1. From the Pancreatic Research Group (SJP, AL, OAM, ASG, IG), Department of Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles, University of California Los Angeles, and Southern California Research Center for Alcoholic Liver and Pancreatic Diseases, Los Angeles, California; Howard University (DS), Washington, District of Columbia; and Yale University (FSG), New Haven, Connecticut.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Duane Smoot,

    1. From the Pancreatic Research Group (SJP, AL, OAM, ASG, IG), Department of Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles, University of California Los Angeles, and Southern California Research Center for Alcoholic Liver and Pancreatic Diseases, Los Angeles, California; Howard University (DS), Washington, District of Columbia; and Yale University (FSG), New Haven, Connecticut.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Fred S. Gorelick,

    1. From the Pancreatic Research Group (SJP, AL, OAM, ASG, IG), Department of Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles, University of California Los Angeles, and Southern California Research Center for Alcoholic Liver and Pancreatic Diseases, Los Angeles, California; Howard University (DS), Washington, District of Columbia; and Yale University (FSG), New Haven, Connecticut.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Anna S. Gukovskaya,

    1. From the Pancreatic Research Group (SJP, AL, OAM, ASG, IG), Department of Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles, University of California Los Angeles, and Southern California Research Center for Alcoholic Liver and Pancreatic Diseases, Los Angeles, California; Howard University (DS), Washington, District of Columbia; and Yale University (FSG), New Haven, Connecticut.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ilya Gukovsky

    1. From the Pancreatic Research Group (SJP, AL, OAM, ASG, IG), Department of Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles, University of California Los Angeles, and Southern California Research Center for Alcoholic Liver and Pancreatic Diseases, Los Angeles, California; Howard University (DS), Washington, District of Columbia; and Yale University (FSG), New Haven, Connecticut.
    Search for more papers by this author

Reprint requests: Stephen J. Pandol, MD, and Ilya Gukovsky, PhD, Pancreatic Research Group, UCLA/VA Greater Los Angeles, West Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center, 11301 Wilshire Boulevard, Blg 258, Rm 340, Los Angeles, CA 90073; Fax: 310-268-4578; E-mail: stephen.pandol@va.gov; igukovsk@ucla.edu

Abstract

Alcohol abuse is one of the most common causes of pancreatitis. The risk of developing alcohol-induced pancreatitis is related to the amount and duration of drinking. However, only a small portion of heavy drinkers develop disease, indicating that other factors (genetic, environmental, or dietary) contribute to disease initiation. Epidemiologic studies suggest roles for cigarette smoking and dietary factors in the development of alcoholic pancreatitis. The mechanisms underlying alcoholic pancreatitis are starting to be understood. Studies from animal models reveal that alcohol sensitizes the pancreas to key pathobiologic processes that are involved in pancreatitis. Current studies are focussed on the mechanisms responsible for the sensitizing effect of alcohol; recent findings reveal disordering of key cellular organelles including endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, and lysosomes. As our understanding of alcohol’s effects continue to advance to the level of molecular mechanisms, insights into potential therapeutic strategies will emerge providing opportunities for clinical benefit.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary