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International Journal of Molecular Sciences


Alcohol misuse, directly or indirectly as a result of its metabolism, negatively impacts most tissues, including four with critical roles in energy metabolism regulation: the liver, pancreas, adipose, and skeletal muscle. Mitochondria have long been studied for their biosynthetic roles, such as ATP synthesis and initiation of apoptosis. However, current research has provided evidence that mitochondria participate in myriad cellular processes, including immune activation, nutrient sensing in pancreatic β-cells, and skeletal muscle stem and progenitor cell differentiation. The literature indicates that alcohol impairs mitochondrial respiratory capacity, promoting reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and disrupting mitochondrial dynamics, leading to dysfunctional mitochondria accumulation. As discussed in this review, mitochondrial dyshomeostasis emerges at a nexus between alcohol-disrupted cellular energy metabolism and tissue injury. Here, we highlight this link and focus on alcohol-mediated disruption of immunometabolism, which refers to two distinct, yet interrelated processes. Extrinsic immunometabolism involves processes whereby immune cells and their products influence cellular and/or tissue metabolism. Intrinsic immunometabolism describes immune cell fuel utilization and bioenergetics that affect intracellular processes. Alcohol-induced mitochondrial dysregulation negatively impacts immunometabolism in immune cells, contributing to tissue injury. This review will present the current state of literature, describing alcohol-mediated metabolic and immunometabolic dysregulation from a mitochondrial perspective.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.