Research Alert

New research in rats finds that exposure to ethanol (drinking alcohol) disrupts hormone-activated calcium signaling in the liver. The study is published ahead of print in the journal Function.

One of the functions of calcium-mobilizing hormones is to regulate liver function. Previous studies have found that dysregulation of calcium signaling may play a role in a number of liver diseases. The current study finds that acute ethanol intoxication in rats suppresses activation of phospholipase C (PLC)—an enzyme involved in signaling pathways—which in turn inhibits calcium signaling pathways in liver cells.

“In the short term, the acute inhibitory effects of ethanol on receptor-coupled PLC will perturb the normal hormonal regulation of hepatic metabolism. However, after long-term ethanol exposure, the liver overcomes the acute inhibitory actions of ethanol on [inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate] production by increasing the efficacy of hormones to stimulate PLC activity,” the researchers wrote.

Read the full article, “Ethanol disrupts hormone-induced calcium signaling in liver.” Contact the APS Communications Office to schedule an interview with the research team.