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Re-Wiring the Circuit: Mitochondria as a Pharmacological Target in Liver Disease

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Mitochondria play a key role in intracellular energy-generating processes, cell life and death, and are heavily involved in several metabolic pathways by integrating signaling networks; thus, a very large number of conditions are characterized by mitochondrial bioenergetic in humans. Often, mitochondrial changes are directly or indirectly dependent on the activation of intracellular stress cascades or death receptor-mediated pathways. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, glutathione (GSH) depletion, protein alkylation and respiratory complex alterations are major events associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and represent critical initiating events in most forms of chronic liver disease.

Through creating an analogy with a disrupted electric circuit gone bad, the present review focuses initially on how hepatic mitochondrial bioenergetics is affected in the context of drug and disease-induced liver failure and how targeting mitochondria with several antioxidant agents can be helpful for preventing the disruption of the mitochondrial electric circuit.

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Keywords: Alcohol; cholestasis; drug-induced liver injury; glutathione; ischemia-reperfusion; liver diseases; medicinal chemistry; mitochondria; oxidative stress; pharmacology; reactive oxygen species

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-12-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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