Investigating the Pathobiology of Alcoholic Pancreatitis

Stephen J. Pandol, Aurelia Lugea, Olga A. Mareninova, Duane Smoot, Fred S. Gorelick, Anna S. Gukovskaya, Ilya Gukovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Alcohol abuse is one of the most common causes of pancreatitis. The risk of developing alcohol-induced pancreatitis is related to the amount and duration of drinking. However, only a small portion of heavy drinkers develop disease, indicating that other factors (genetic, environmental, or dietary) contribute to disease initiation. Epidemiologic studies suggest roles for cigarette smoking and dietary factors in the development of alcoholic pancreatitis. The mechanisms underlying alcoholic pancreatitis are starting to be understood. Studies from animal models reveal that alcohol sensitizes the pancreas to key pathobiologic processes that are involved in pancreatitis. Current studies are focussed on the mechanisms responsible for the sensitizing effect of alcohol; recent findings reveal disordering of key cellular organelles including endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, and lysosomes. As our understanding of alcohol's effects continue to advance to the level of molecular mechanisms, insights into potential therapeutic strategies will emerge providing opportunities for clinical benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)830-837
Number of pages8
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcoholic pancreatitis
  • Autophagy
  • Endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • Inflammation
  • Mitochondrial permeabilization
  • Pancreatic stellate cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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