Copyright ©2010 Baishideng. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Mar 21, 2010; 16(11): 1303-1303
Published online Mar 21, 2010. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v16.i11.1303
Alcohol and liver, 2010
Natalia A Osna
Natalia A Osna, Liver Study Unit, Research Service (151), VA Medical Center, 4101 Woolworth Avenue, Omaha, NE 68105, United States
Author contributions: Osna NA, a series editor of Topic Highlight “Alcohol and liver, 2010” wrote this Introduction.
Correspondence to: Natalia A Osna, MD, PhD, Liver Study Unit, Research Service (151), VA Medical Center, 4101 Woolworth Avenue, Omaha, NE 68105, United States. nosna@unmc.edu
Telephone: +1-402-9953735 Fax: +1-402-4490604
Received: January 20, 2010
Revised: March 8, 2010
Accepted: March 15, 2010
Published online: March 21, 2010

Liver is known as an organ that is primarily affected by alcohol. Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is the cause of an increased morbidity and mortality worldwide. Progression of ALD is driven by “second hits”. These second hits include the complex of nutritional, pharmacological, genetic and viral factors, which aggravate liver pathology. However, in addition to liver failure, ethanol causes damage to other organs and systems. These extrahepatic manifestations are regulated via the similar hepatitis mechanisms. In the Topic Highlight series, we provide an update of current knowledge in the field of ALD.

Keywords: Liver, Alcohol

Our Topic Highlight: “Alcohol and liver" is annually published in World Journal of Gastroenterology and reviews the most important discoveries in the field of alcoholic liver disease (ALD). In the current third edition of “Alcohol and liver", we focus on the ethanol-induced cross-talk between the liver and other alcohol-affected organs, such as gut, brain and pancreas[1-3]. Also, signal transduction aspects of ALD include the role of an adiponectin/interleukin-10/heme oxygenase-1 pathway[4], the impact of alcohol on hepatitis C virus replication and interferon signaling[5] and the role of Toll-like receptor signaling[6]. In addition, certain reviews published in this issue shed light on molecular mechanisms of liver cell damage, as well as other aspects of ALD pathogenesis, such as the effects of ethanol on proteasome-interacting proteins[7], alterations of hepatocyte cytoskeleton[8], hepatoprotective effect of S-adenosyl-L-methionine against alcohol in CYP2E1-dependent liver injury[9] and gender/hormonal differences in ALD development[10]. We believe that this issue will be of strong interest not only for gastroenterologists, but also for those involved in alcohol, liver and brain research.