Mitochondrial DNA-enriched microparticles promote acute-on-chronic alcoholic neutrophilia and hepatotoxicity

Yan Cai, Ming Jiang Xu, Erik H. Koritzinsky, Zhou Zhou, Wei Wang, Haixia Cao, Peter St Yuen, Ruth A. Ross, Robert A. Star, Suthat Liangpunsakul, Bin Gao

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29 Scopus citations


Over the last several years, one of the major advances in the field of alcoholic liver disease research was the discovery that binge alcohol consumption induced neutrophilia and hepatic neutrophil infiltration in chronically ethanol-fed mice and human subjects with excessive alcohol use (EAU); however, the underlying mechanisms remain obscure. Here, we demonstrated that chronic EAU patients with a history of recent excessive drinking (EAU + RD) had higher serum levels of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)-enriched microparticles (MPs) than EAU without recent drinking (EAU - RD) and healthy controls, which correlated positively with circulating neutrophils. Similarly, mice with chronic-plus-binge (E10d + 1B) ethanol feeding also had markedly elevated serum levels of mtDNA-enriched MPs, with activation of hepatic ER stress and inflammatory responses. Inhibition of ER stress by gene KO or inhibitors attenuated ethanol-induced elevation of mtDNA-enriched MPs, neutrophilia, and liver injury. The data from the study of hepatocyte-specific deletion of the protein kinase RNA-like ER kinase (Perk) gene in mice and of cultured hepatocytes demonstrated that hepatocytes were the main source of mtDNA-enriched MPs after ethanol feeding. Finally, administration of mtDNA-enriched MPs isolated from E10d+1B-fed mice caused neutrophilia in mice. In conclusion, E10d + 1B ethanol consumption activates hepatic ER stress-dependent mtDNA-enriched MP release, leading to neutrophilia and liver injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJCI insight
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 20 2017


  • Hepatology

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    Cai, Y., Xu, M. J., Koritzinsky, E. H., Zhou, Z., Wang, W., Cao, H., Yuen, P. S., Ross, R. A., Star, R. A., Liangpunsakul, S., & Gao, B. (2017). Mitochondrial DNA-enriched microparticles promote acute-on-chronic alcoholic neutrophilia and hepatotoxicity. JCI insight, 2(14).