UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology

Publication Date


Document Type



MicroRNAs; Liver Diseases, Alcoholic


Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Digestive System Diseases | Gastroenterology | Hepatology


Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a major global health problem. Chronic alcohol use results in inflammation and fatty liver, and in some cases, it leads to fibrosis and cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma. Increased proinflammatory cytokines, particularly TNF alpha, play a central role in the pathogenesis of ALD. TNF alpha is tightly regulated at transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels. Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown to modulate gene functions. The role of miRNAs in ALD is getting attention, and recent studies suggest that alcohol modulates miRNAs. Recently, we showed that alcohol induces miR-155 expression both in vitro (RAW 264.7 macrophage) and in vivo (Kupffer cells, KCs of alcohol-fed mice). Induction of miR-155 contributed to increased TNF alpha production and to the sensitization of KCs to produce more TNF alpha in response to LPS. In this paper, we summarize the current knowledge of miRNAs in ALD and also report increased expression of miR-155 and miR-132 in the total liver as well as in isolated hepatocytes and KCs of alcohol-fed mice. Our novel finding of the alcohol-induced increase of miRNAs in hepatocytes and KCs after alcohol feeding provides further insight into the evolving knowledge regarding the role of miRNAs in ALD.

Rights and Permissions

Copyright © 2012 Shashi Bala and Gyongyi Szabo. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI of Published Version



Int J Hepatol. 2012;2012:498232. Epub 2012 Jan 30. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

International journal of hepatology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID




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