ALCOHOL allows gut bacteria to migrate to the liver, promoting alcohol-induced liver disease, a new study has warned.
Researchers from University of California (UC), San Diego in US conduced the study in mice and in laboratory samples.
They previously found that chronic alcohol consumption is associated with lower intestinal levels of REG3 lectins, which are naturally occurring antimicrobials.
In the new study, researchers discovered that REG3G deficiency promotes progression of alcohol-induced liver disease.
Mice engineered to lack REG3G and fed alcohol for eight weeks were more susceptible to bacterial migration from the gut to the liver than normal mice who received the same amount of alcohol.
REG3G-deficient mice also developed more severe alcoholic liver disease than normal mice.
To find methods for stemming the tide of liver-damaging microbes, researchers tried experimentally bumping up copies of the REG3G gene in intestinal lining cells grown in the lab.