• Alcoholic Liver Disease;
  • Polymorphisms;
  • Pharmacogenetics;
  • Oxidative Stress;
  • Obesity

Background:  Alcoholic cirrhosis constitutes a major public health problem in the world where ADH1B, ALDH2, and CYP2E1 polymorphisms could be playing an important role. We determined ADH1B*2, ALDH2*2, and CYP2E1*c2 allele frequencies in healthy control individuals (C) and patients with alcoholic cirrhosis (AC) from western Mexico.

Methods:  Ninety C and 41 patients with AC were studied. Genotype and allele frequency were determined through polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphisms.

Results:  Polymorphic allele distribution in AC was 1.6%ADH1B*2, 0.0%ALDH2*2, and 19.5%CYP2E1*c2; in C: 6.1%ADH1B*2, 0%ALDH2*2, and 10.6%CYP2E1*c2. CYP2E1*c2 polymorphic allele and c1/c2 genotype frequency were significantly higher (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively) in patients with AC when compared to C. Patients with AC, carrying the CYP2E1*c2 allele, exhibited more decompensated liver functioning evaluated by total bilirubin and prothrombin time, than c1 allele carrying patients (p < 0.05). Cirrhosis severity, assessed by Child’s Pugh score and mortality, was higher in patients carrying the c2 allele, although not statistically significant.

Conclusions:  In this study, CYP2E1*c2 allele was associated with susceptibility to AC; meanwhile, ADH1B*2 and ALDH2*2 alleles were not. CYP2E1*c2 allele was associated with AC severity, which could probably be attributed to the oxidative stress promoted by this polymorphic form. Further studies to clearly establish CYP2E1*c2 clinical relevance in the development of alcohol-induced liver damage and its usefulness as a probable prognostic marker, should be performed. Also, increasing the number of patients and including a control group conformed by alcoholic patients free of liver damage may render more conclusive results. These findings contribute to the understanding of the influence of gene variations in AC development among populations, alcohol metabolism, and pharmacogenetics.