Rodent models of alcoholic liver disease: Of mice and men

Elizabeth Brandon-Warner, Laura W. Schrum, C. Max Schmidt, Iain H. McKillop

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

68 Scopus citations


Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a major cause of acute and chronic liver disease worldwide. The progressive nature of ALD is well described; however, the complex interactions under which these pathologies evolve remain to be fully elucidated. Clinically there are no clear biomarkers or universally accepted, effective treatment strategies for ALD. Experimental models of ALD are an important component in identifying underlying mechanisms of alcohol-induced injury to develop better diagnostic markers, predictors of disease progression, and therapeutic targets to manage, halt, or reverse disease progression. Rodents remain the most accessible model for studying ALD pathology. Effective rodent models must mimic the natural history of ALD while allowing examination of complex interactions between multiple hepatic, and non-hepatic, cell types in the setting of altered metabolic or oxidative/nitrosative stress, inflammatory responses, and sensitivity to cytotoxic stress. Additionally, mode and duration of alcohol delivery influence hepatic response and present unique challenges in understanding disease pathology. This review provides an overview of rodent models of ALD, their strengths and weaknesses relative to human disease states, and provides insight of the potential to develop novel rodent models to simulate the course of human ALD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-725
Number of pages11
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012


  • Alcohol
  • Cirrhosis
  • Feeding models
  • Fibrosis
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Humanized mouse
  • Liver disease
  • Steatohepatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Medicine(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Toxicology
  • Health(social science)

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