The effects of chronic ethanol administration on the endocytosis of three representative cytokines were investigated in isolated rat hepatocytes. When hepatocytes were isolated from rats that were fed an ethanol liquid diet for 12 to 13 weeks, these cells exhibited a decreased ability to internalize and degrade transforming growth factor-α, tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6, compared with hepatocytes from the pair-fed controls. This impaired endocytosis of all three cytokines was accompanied by significant decreases in the amount of hepatocyte surface-bound cytokine. Changes in cytokine binding to surface receptors and reduced rates of receptor-cytokine complex internalization into the cells seem to be major contributors to defective endocytosis in hepatocytes from the ethanol-fed rats. Impaired hepatocyte endocytosis could lead to altered steady-state levels of cytokines in the liver and modified physiological responses to cytokines. These changes could affect homeostasis among the various cell types in the liver and could contribute to liver dysfunction and injury.
Effects of chronic ethanol administration on the endocytosis of cytokines by rat hepatocytes. / Tuma, Dean J.; Todero, Sandra L.; Barak-Bernhagen, Mary; Sorrell, Michael F.In: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, Vol. 20, No. 3, 01.01.1996, p. 579-583.
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