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Why Alcohol Is Bad For Your Pancreas

Date:
June 9, 2008
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
Much is known about the mechanisms by which excessive alcohol consumption causes damage to organs such as the liver, heart, and brain. However, only recently has progress been made in understanding how excessive alcohol consumption causes damage to the pancreas, and new insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying pancreatic damage in mice following alcohol exposure has now been provided.

Much is known about the mechanisms by which excessive alcohol consumption causes damage to organs such as the liver, heart, and brain.

However, only recently has progress been made in understanding how excessive alcohol consumption causes damage to the pancreas, and new insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying pancreatic damage in mice following alcohol exposure has now been provided by Herbert Gaisano and colleagues at the University of Toronto and University Health Network, Canada.

Rodents who have been fed alcohol in their diet and then exposed to a drug known as carbachol develop an inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) that resembles the pancreatitis seen in individuals who consume an excessive amount of alcohol.

It has been suggested previously that the rodents develop pancreatitis because the alcohol and carbachol exposure cause cells in the pancreas to release vesicles containing degradative proteins known as enzymes at inappropriate places.

In the study, a protein known as VAMP8 was found to have an important role in coordinating the inappropriate release of enzyme-containing vesicles in mice exposed to alcohol and carbachol. As such, mice lacking VAMP8 showed reduced pancreatitis after exposure to alcohol and carbachol.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. VAMP8 is the v-SNARE that mediates basolateral exocytosis in a mouse model of alcoholic pancreatitis. Journal of Clinical Investigation, June 5, 2008

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Why Alcohol Is Bad For Your Pancreas." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080605203902.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2008, June 9). Why Alcohol Is Bad For Your Pancreas. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080605203902.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Why Alcohol Is Bad For Your Pancreas." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080605203902.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

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