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Hepatology. 1996 Nov;24(5):1156-60.

Chemokine levels in human liver homogenates: associations between GRO alpha and histopathological evidence of alcoholic hepatitis.

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Department of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, UK.


Alcoholic hepatitis is characterized by parenchymal neutrophil infiltration. Hepatic synthesis of the neutrophil chemokine interleukin-8 (IL-8) is highly elevated in alcoholic hepatitis and levels correlate with the degree of neutrophil infiltration. The aim of this study was to further determine the spectrum of synthesis of chemokines in liver tissue from patients with alcoholic liver disease and a range of disease control subjects. Subjects were composed of 24 patients with alcoholic liver disease of whom 15 had histopathological evidence of alcoholic hepatitis (10 cirrhotic) and 9 no evidence of alcoholic hepatitis (5 cirrhotic); other controls included; normal liver (n = 6), viral hepatitis (n = 16), primary biliary cirrhosis (n = 5), acute liver failure (n = 4), and miscellaneous liver disease (n = 13). Levels of the C-X-C neutrophil chemokine GRO alpha and the mononuclear cell C-C chemokines: macrophage inflammatory protein 1 alpha, macrophage chemotactic protein 1 and RANTES, were determined by ELISA in liver homogenates. Levels of the neutrophil chemokine GRO alpha were specifically elevated (mean 46 pg/mg, compared with normal liver 11 pg/mg) in patients with alcoholic hepatitis. GRO alpha levels correlated with IL-8 levels and were higher in patients with alcoholic liver disease and parenchymal neutrophil infiltration. Hepatic RANTES was elevated in diseased liver, with the highest levels found in viral hepatitis (mean 117 pg/mg, compared with 24 pg/mg in normal liver). No significant changes in hepatic levels of macrophage inflammatory protein 1 alpha (MIP-1 alpha) or macrophage chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1) were found. These data provide further supportive evidence that parenchymal neutrophil infiltration in alcoholic hepatitis may be determined by selective upregulation of C-X-C chemokine synthesis.

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