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Annu Rev Med. 1982;33:281-92.

Effects of alcohol on hepatic transport of proteins.


Alcohol inhibits the secretion of protein from the liver. Chronic abuse results in intrahepatic accumulation of export-type proteins and decreased plasma levels. These effects appear to be mediated by acetaldehyde, an oxidation product of ethanol. Acetaldehyde is capable of interfering with the assembly of microtubules, a component of the cytoskeleton, the integrity of which is required for normal secretion. Protein retention and cytoskeletal alterations may contribute to manifestations of alcoholic liver disease, such as hepatomegaly, ballooning of the hepatocyte, portal hypertension, and development of Mallory bodies.

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