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Chronic drinking disrupts liver's circadian clock, contributes to alcoholic liver disease

Date:
September 10, 2015
Source:
American Physiological Society (APS)
Summary:
Staying on an internal schedule is important for health, and disease can occur if the body’s internal clock is disrupted. A new study reinforces the importance of circadian rhythm, reporting that chronic drinking contributes to alcoholic liver disease because it impairs the liver’s production schedule of molecules that power it to run.
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The activity of an organ in the body changes through the day and is governed by its internal clock, also known as a circadian clock. Staying on a circadian schedule is important for health, and disruptions lead to disease. Previous studies have supported that chronic drinking damages the liver by compromising the mitochondria, the site in cells where molecules that power the body's processes are made, slowing down the production of these molecules. New research presented at Physiological Bionergetics: From Bench to Bedside reports that the damage occurs because of the effects of chronic alcohol consumption on the liver's circadian clock.

In this study, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham observed that the levels of proteins involved in mitochondrial function and energy production changed cyclically in the livers of healthy mice. In contrast, alcohol-fed mice had rhythm changes, and the rhythmic cycle of one particular mitochondrial protein, cytochrome c oxidase, was completely lost. According to the researchers, the data support that liver mitochondria can adapt to changes in metabolic demands because of their internal clock. Chronic alcohol consumption disrupts the clock and makes the mitochondria less flexible and prone to dysfunction, contributing to the development of alcoholic liver disease.


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American Physiological Society (APS). "Chronic drinking disrupts liver's circadian clock, contributes to alcoholic liver disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150910132214.htm>.
American Physiological Society (APS). (2015, September 10). Chronic drinking disrupts liver's circadian clock, contributes to alcoholic liver disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 24, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150910132214.htm
American Physiological Society (APS). "Chronic drinking disrupts liver's circadian clock, contributes to alcoholic liver disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150910132214.htm (accessed May 24, 2017).

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