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International journal of hepatology

Lipid droplet accumulation and impaired fat efflux in polarized hepatic cells: consequences of ethanol metabolism.


PMID 22506128

Abstract

Steatosis, an early manifestation in alcoholic liver disease, is associated with the accumulation of hepatocellular lipid droplets (LDs). However, the role ethanol metabolism has in LD formation and turnover remains undefined. Here, we assessed LD dynamics following ethanol and oleic acid treatment to ethanol-metabolizing WIF-B cells (a hybrid of human fibroblasts (WI 38) and Fao rat hepatoma cells). An OA dose-dependent increase in triglyceride and stained lipids was identified which doubled (P < 0.05) in the presence of ethanol. This effect was blunted with the inclusion of an alcohol metabolism inhibitor. The ethanol/ OA combination also induced adipophilin, LD coat protein involved in the attenuation of lipolysis. Additionally, ethanol treatment resulted in a significant reduction in lipid efflux. These data demonstrate that the metabolism of ethanol in hepatic cells is related to LD accumulation, impaired fat efflux, and enhancements in LD-associated proteins. These alterations in LD dynamics may contribute to ethanol-mediated defects in hepatocellular LD regulation and the formation of steatosis.

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