A Novel Mouse Model of Acute‐on‐Chronic Cholestatic Alcoholic Liver Disease: A Systems Biology Comparison With Human Alcoholic Hepatitis Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Alcohol-related liver disease is the main cause of liver-related mortality worldwide. The development of novel targeted therapies for patients with advanced forms (i.e., alcoholic hepatitis, AH) is hampered by the lack of suitable animal models. Here, we developed a novel mouse model of acute-on-chronic alcohol liver injury with cholestasis and fibrosis and performed an extensive molecular comparative analysis with human AH. METHODS: For the mouse model of acute-on-chronic liver injury, we used 3,5-diethoxycarbonyl-1,4-dihydrocollidine (DDC, 0.05% w/w) diet for 8 weeks to establish cholestatic liver fibrosis. After 1-week washout period, male mice were fed intragastrically for 4 weeks with up to 24 g/kg of ethyl alcohol in a high-fat diet. This animal model was phenotyped using histopathology, clinical chemistry, microbiome, and gene expression approaches. Data were compared to the phenotypes of human alcohol-related liver disease, including AH. RESULTS: Mice with cholestatic liver fibrosis and subsequent alcohol exposure (DDC + EtOH) exhibited exacerbated liver fibrosis with a pericellular pattern, increased neutrophil infiltration, and ductular proliferation, all characteristics of human AH. DDC administration had no effect on urine alcohol concentration or liver steatosis. Importantly, DDC- and alcohol-treated mice showed a transcriptomic signature that resembled that of patients with AH. Finally, we show that mice in the DDC + EtOH group had an increased gut barrier dysfunction, mimicking an important pathophysiological mechanism of human AH. CONCLUSIONS: We developed a novel mouse model of acute-on-chronic cholestatic alcoholic liver injury that has considerable translational potential and can be used to test novel therapeutic modalities for AH.

altmetric score

  • 4.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Furuya, S., Argemi, J., Uehara, T., Katou, Y., Fouts, D. E., Schnabl, B., ... Rusyn, I.

citation count

  • 1

publication date

  • January 2020