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Hepatogastroenterology. 2003 Mar-Apr;50(50):443-8.

Fas-mediated apoptosis in acute alcoholic hepatitis.

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First Department of Internal Medicine, Gifu University School of Medicine, 40 Tsukasa-machi, Gifu 500-8705, Japan.



The Fas-mediated apoptosis pathway has been implicated in liver diseases. The aim of the study was to investigate the role of this system in alcoholic hepatitis.


The expression of Fas, Fas ligand, and intracellular signaling molecules for apoptosis were determined by immunoblot analysis in fresh frozen liver samples from 19 patients with alcoholic liver disease.


Fas and Fas ligand expression was significantly increased in the liver of patients with alcoholic hepatitis (n = 11) as compared with alcoholic liver disease patients without hepatitis (n = 8). Similarly, there were significant differences in the expression of FADD, ICE, and CPP32 in the liver between the two groups. There were significant positive correlations between the Fas ligand and the FADD, ICE, or CPP32 levels in the liver. The expression of Fas, Fas ligand, FADD, ICE, or CPP32 correlated with serum markers of hepatic injury. Plasma soluble Fas levels in patients with alcoholic hepatitis (median: 15.1 U/mL, range: 9.7-19.2 U/mL) were significantly higher than in normal controls (n = 9) (median: 2.8 U/mL, range: 1.9-3.7 U/mL; p < 0.001). There was a significant positive correlation between plasma soluble Fas levels and the hepatic expression of FADD in these patients.


These results indicate that Fas-mediated apoptosis may play an important role in alcoholic hepatitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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