Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

LIVER

Hepatocyte–stellate cell synapse in alcohol-induced steatosis: another role for endocannabinoids

A new study demonstrates a novel role for an endocannabinoid in promoting hepatocyte steatosis. The study describes a mode of bidirectional communication between the alcohol-injured hepatocyte and the glutamate-activated hepatic stellate cell. This intercellular communication represents a novel targetable pathogenic mechanism that could lead to new strategies to prevent fatty liver disease progression to cirrhosis.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Pathogenic roles of endocannabinoids in liver diseases.

References

  1. 1.

    Asrani, S. K. et al. Burden of liver diseases in the world. J. Hepatol. 70, 151–171 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    McPherson, S. et al. Evidence of NAFLD progression from steatosis to fibrosing-steatohepatitis using paired biopsies: implications for prognosis and clinical management. J. Hepatol. 62, 1148–1155 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Parker, R. et al. Natural history of histologically proven alcohol-related liver disease: a systematic review. J. Hepatol. 71, 586–593 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Louvet, A. & Mathurin, P. Alcoholic liver disease: mechanisms of injury and targeted treatment. Nat. Rev. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 12, 231–242 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Dam-Larsen, S. et al. Long term prognosis of fatty liver: risk of chronic liver disease and death. Gut. 53, 750–755 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Choi, W. M. et al. Glutamate signaling in hepatic stellate cells drives alcoholic steatosis. Cell Metab. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2019.08.001 (2019).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Spooren, W. et al. Insight into the function of group I and group II metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors: behavioural characterization and implications for the treatment of CNS disorders. Behav. Pharmacol. 14, 257–277 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Caraceni, P. et al. The endocannabinoid system and liver diseases. J. Neuroendocrinol. 20, 47–52 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Nguyen, T. et al. Overcoming the psychiatric side effects of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonists: current approaches for therapeutics development. Curr. Top. Med. Chem. 19, 1418–1435 (2019).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Godlewski, G. et al. Targeting peripheral CB1 receptors reduces ethanol intake via a gut-brain axis. Cell Metab. 29, 1320–1333 (2019).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

R.B. is supported by NIH/NIAAA grants AA026972, AA026978 and AA026264, and by NIH/NIDDK grant P30DK120531.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ramon Bataller.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Argemi, J., Bataller, R. Hepatocyte–stellate cell synapse in alcohol-induced steatosis: another role for endocannabinoids. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 17, 5–6 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41575-019-0233-8

Download citation

Further reading

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing