Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved intracellular degradative function that is important for liver homeostasis. Accumulating evidence suggests that autophagy is deregulated during the progression and development of alcoholic and non-alcoholic liver diseases. Impaired autophagy prevents the clearance of excessive lipid droplets (LDs), damaged mitochondria, and toxic protein aggregates, which can be generated during the progression of various liver diseases, thus contributing to the development of steatosis, injury, steatohepatitis, fibrosis, and tumors. In this review, we look at the status of hepatic autophagy during the pathogenesis of alcoholic and non-alcoholic liver diseases. We also examine the mechanisms of defects in autophagy, and the hepato-protective roles of autophagy in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic liver disease (ALD), focusing mainly on steatosis and liver injury. Finally, we discuss the therapeutic potential of autophagy modulating agents for the treatment of these two common liver diseases.
- Alcoholic liver disease (ALD)
- Liver injury
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
ASJC Scopus subject areas