Published online Feb 27, 2018. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v10.i2.297
Peer-review started: November 25, 2017
First decision: December 18, 2017
Revised: January 13, 2018
Accepted: January 23, 2018
Article in press: January 24, 2018
Published online: February 27, 2018
It is known that alcohol consumption is a risk factor for various diseases, specifically liver diseases. Due to that alcohol consumption, especially weekend alcohol consumption, has Increased, in recent years the effect has been studied of the damage that this pattern of alcohol consumption can cause to various organs, for example, to the heart and the liver. This study contributes, to our knowledge for the first time, solid evidences of the damage caused by weekend alcohol consumption to the liver, as well as of the relationship that gender and the concentration of alcohol maintain in generating liver damage.
The consumption of alcohol is a problem of prime magnitude at the worldwide level that gives rise to a great number of medical (gastritis, cirrhosis, cancer, infarcts, etc.), as well as non-medical problems (automobile accidents, homicides, absenteeism from work, etc.). Therefore, carrying out investigations to understand the mechanisms of cellular damage and identifying patterns of alcohol consumption that are on the rise, such as weekend alcohol consumption, and how these patterns come to damage the liver at different magnitudes, are of utmost importance.
The majority of studies that investigate alcohol-associated liver damage address chronic or acute alcohol consumption. Few experimental studies inquire into the liver damage that is caused by weekend alcohol consumption. To our knowledge, this is the first report that describes the histological alterations caused by weekend alcohol consumption. It is of utmost importance to ascertain the mechanisms of liver damage given rise to by weekend alcohol consumption, due to the growing number of young people who acquire this consumption pattern, and to find a therapeutic window.
While the histological study is well known worldwide and has been employed in an infinite number of investigations, it can newly be a very important tool to find mechanisms of cellular damage caused by alcohol that are complemented with biochemical assays, in this manner taking the first steps in utilizing other investigative tools, such as electronic microscopy, molecular biology assays, etc. The most important and novel in this is the experimental design.
Histological and biochemical findings demonstrate that weekend alcohol consumption causes liver damage, irrespective of gender or the concentration of the alcohol. The contribution of this work resides in that a probable mechanism of damage to the liver due to weekend alcohol consumption comprises the metabolism of the first pass of the alcohol, which is carried out in the stomach. Lacking is the study in this model of variables such as age, food consumption, doses of alcohol, the consumption of antioxidants, etc.
As conclusions of the investigation, this is the first report, to our knowledge, that describes the histological alterations caused by weekend alcohol consumption that, in addition to the biochemical assays, provides solid evidence on the damage caused by weekend alcohol consumption, which initially can be acute and reversible, but that probably can become irreversible. We employed a known technique, histology, but with the experimental design being novel. This type of study, in which the mechanisms of damage are investigated, can open a therapeutic window in future clinical practice.
These perspectives include, in the first place, considering weekend alcohol consumption as a health problem of utmost importance, and even the same as chronic alcohol consumption. In second place, we conducted the investigation of the mechanisms of liver damage in terms of weekend alcohol consumption, and third, we found that this would be novel in the design of experimental models, in this manner utilizing techniques such as histology and biochemical assays, which comprise the first step in terms of orientation to the mechanisms of damage caused by alcohol, and these can be confirmed with molecular biology techniques. The questions to solve include knowing the following in terms of this model: How is the activity in the hepatic and gastric dehydrogenase alcohol enzyme found? Does the Nrf2 factor participate as cytoprotector?, and can the consumption of antioxidants prevent the alterations that weekend alcohol consumption cause?