Aldehyde dehydrogenase (E.C. in chronic alcoholic liver diseases

R Nilius, B Zipprich, S Krabbe
Hepato-gastroenterology 1983, 30 (4): 134-6
Acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity in liver biopsy specimens was considerably reduced in alcoholic cirrhosis (n = 5), elevated in alcoholic fatty liver (n = 11)--probably due to enzyme induction--only slightly elevated in alcoholic hepatitis (n = 6), but unaffected in non-alcoholic liver diseases (n = 23) in comparison with specimens obtained from patients with minimal liver lesions. We will argue as a working hypothesis that alcoholics with induced ALDH activity will mainly develop fatty liver, whereas reduced hepatic ALDH appears to be a reason for elevated acetaldehyde levels followed by additional liver injury and progression at least for alcoholic cirrhosis.

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