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.

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

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Acknowledgements

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

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Correspondence to Ramon Bataller.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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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

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