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Int J Toxicol. 2004 Jul-Aug;23(4):217-31.

Early-phase alcoholic liver disease: an update on animal models, pathology, and pathogenesis.

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Department of Pathobiology, Texas Veterinary Medical Center, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA.


Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) remains to be one of the most common etiology of liver disease and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The pathologic stages of ALD comprises of steatosis, steatohepatitis, and fibrosis/cirrhosis. Steatosis and steatohepatitis represents the early phase of ALD and are precursor stages for fibrosis/cirrhosis. Numerous research efforts have been directed at recognizing cofactors interacting with alcohol in the pathogenesis of steatosis and steatohepatitis. This review will elucidate the constellation of complex pathogenesis, available animal models, and microscopic pathologic findings mostly in the early-phase of ALD. The role of endotoxin, reactive oxygen species, alcohol metabolism, and cytokines are discussed. Understanding the mechanisms of early-phase ALD should provide insight into the development of therapeutic strategies and thereby decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with ALD.

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