Alcohol consumption is a common custom worldwide, and the toxic effects of alcohol on several target organs are well-understood. Given the poor prognosis of treating clinically-relevant alcoholic liver disease (ALD) (i.e., alcoholic hepatitis (AH) and cirrhosis), additional research is required to develop more effective therapies. While the stages of ALD have been well-characterized, targeted therapies to prevent or reverse this process in humans are still needed. Better understanding of risk factors and mechanisms underlying disease progression can lead to the development of rational therapies to prevent or reverse ALD in the clinic. A potential area of targeted therapy for ALD may be organ–organ communication in the early stages of the disease. In contrast to AH and end-stage liver diseases, the involvement of multiple organs in the development of ALD is less understood. The impact of these changes on pathology to the liver and other organs may not only influence disease progression during the development of the disease, but also outcomes of end stages diseases. The purpose of this review is to summarize the established and proposed communication between the liver and other organ systems that may contribute to the development and progression of liver disease, as well as to other organs. Potential mechanisms of this organ–organ communication are also discussed.
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