FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Chronic alcohol consumption has a biphasic effect on hepatic retinoid loss.

PMID 25985802


The alcohol-induced depletion of hepatic retinoid stores correlates with the progression of liver injury; however, the mechanisms underlying alcohol's effects have not been fully elucidated. Our goal was to gain a mechanistic understanding of alcohol-induced hepatic retinoid depletion. Wild-type and mutant mice were continuously fed alcohol through Lieber-DeCarli liquid diets, with matched control animals pair fed an isocaloric alcohol-free diet to ensure equal nutrient and calorie intake between groups. A systematic analysis of tissue retinol and retinyl ester levels was performed with HPLC, complemented by gene and protein expression analyses. Our results delineated 2 phases of alcohol-induced depletion of hepatic retinoid. Initially, ∼15% of hepatic retinoid content was mobilized from the liver, causing extrahepatic tissue retinoid levels to increase. Subsequently, there was a precipitous drop in hepatic retinoid content (>60%), without further retinoid accumulation in the periphery. Follow-up studies in mutant mice revealed roles for RBP, CRBP1, and CD36 in retinoid mobilization and extrahepatic retinoid uptake, as well as a role for CYP2E1 in the catabolism of hepatic retinoid. In summary, alcohol has a biphasic effect on hepatic retinoid stores, characterized by an initial phase of rapid mobilization to extrahepatic tissues followed by extensive catabolism within the liver.