Recent insights into the role of immune cells in alcoholic liver disease

Sha Li, Hor-Yue Tan, Ning Wang, Yigang Feng, Xuanbin Wang, Yibin Feng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Accumulating clinical and experimental evidences have demonstrated that both innate and adaptive immunity are involved in the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease (ALD), in which the role of immunity is to fuel the inflammation and to drive the progression of ALD. Various immune cells are implicated in the pathogenesis of ALD. The activation of innate immune cells induced by alcohol and adaptive immune response triggered by oxidative modification of hepatic constituents facilitate the persistent hepatic inflammation. Meanwhile, the suppressed antigen-presenting capability of various innate immune cells and impaired function of T cells may consequently lead to an increased risk of infection in the patients with advanced ALD. In this review, we summarized the significant recent findings of immune cells participating in ALD. The pathways and molecules involved in the regulation of specific immune cells, and novel mediators protecting the liver from alcoholic injury via affecting these cells are particularly highlighted. This review aims to update the knowledge about immunity in the pathogenesis of ALD, which may facilitate to enhancement of currently available interventions for ALD treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1328
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

User-Defined Keywords

  • immune cells
  • inflammation
  • alcoholic liver disease (ALD)
  • innate immunity
  • adaptive immunity


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