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Biomarkers in Liver Disease

We are exploring novel therapies and biomarker discoveries in AH. Direct effects of alcohol on hepatocytes, increased intestinal permeability and activation of innate immune system (Kupffer cells) by gut-derived LPS are major factors in AH leading to over-activation of the pro-inflammatory cascade. Currently, there are no effective strategies in AH. Our data in a mouse model demonstrated that deficiency of IL-1R or inhibition of IL-1R signaling by administration of IL-receptor antagonist significantly attenuated steatosis and inflammatory cytokine induction in alcoholic liver disease. We also identified that microRNA-155 is an alcohol induced regulator of increased Kupffer cell activation TNFalpha production in ALD. Furthermore, increased circulating levels of microRNAs correlated with liver injury and inflammation identifying them as potential biomarkers.