Next Article in Journal
Hsp90: A New Player in DNA Repair?
Next Article in Special Issue
A Mechanistic Review of Mitophagy and Its Role in Protection against Alcoholic Liver Disease
Previous Article in Journal
Two-Dimensional N-Glycan Distribution Mapping of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Tissues by MALDI-Imaging Mass Spectrometry
Previous Article in Special Issue
Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Ethanol Neurotoxicity
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview

Alcohol and the Intestine

1,*,†, 1,*,†, 1,†, 1,2,†, 1,† and 1,3,4,5,†
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
Department of Biochemistry, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
Department of Pharmacology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
Department of Molecular Biophysics & Physiology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
Division of Pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, Utrecht PO Box 80125, The Netherlands
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Natalia Osna and Kusum Kharbanda
Biomolecules 2015, 5(4), 2573-2588;
Received: 1 September 2015 / Revised: 24 September 2015 / Accepted: 5 October 2015 / Published: 15 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Collection Multi-Organ Alcohol-Related Damage: Mechanisms and Treatment)
PDF [107 KB, uploaded 15 October 2015]


Alcohol abuse is a significant contributor to the global burden of disease and can lead to tissue damage and organ dysfunction in a subset of alcoholics. However, a subset of alcoholics without any of these predisposing factors can develop alcohol-mediated organ injury. The gastrointestinal tract (GI) could be an important source of inflammation in alcohol-mediated organ damage. The purpose of review was to evaluate mechanisms of alcohol-induced endotoxemia (including dysbiosis and gut leakiness), and highlight the predisposing factors for alcohol-induced dysbiosis and gut leakiness to endotoxins. Barriers, including immunologic, physical, and biochemical can regulate the passage of toxins into the portal and systemic circulation. In addition, a host of environmental interactions including those influenced by circadian rhythms can impact alcohol-induced organ pathology. There appears to be a role for therapeutic measures to mitigate alcohol-induced organ damage by normalizing intestinal dysbiosis and/or improving intestinal barrier integrity. Ultimately, the inflammatory process that drives progression into organ damage from alcohol appears to be multifactorial. Understanding the role of the intestine in the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease can pose further avenues for pathogenic and treatment approaches. View Full-Text
Keywords: alcohol; dysbiosis; endotoxemia; gut leakiness alcohol; dysbiosis; endotoxemia; gut leakiness

Graphical abstract

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 (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Patel, S.; Behara, R.; Swanson, G.R.; Forsyth, C.B.; Voigt, R.M.; Keshavarzian, A. Alcohol and the Intestine. Biomolecules 2015, 5, 2573-2588.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Biomolecules EISSN 2218-273X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top