Interleukin-22 in alcoholic hepatitis and beyond

Xiaogang Xiang, Seonghwan Hwang, Dechun Feng, Vijay H. Shah, Bin Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Alcoholic hepatitis (AH) is a clinical syndrome characterized by jaundice and progressive inflammatory liver injury in patients with a history of prolonged periods of excess alcohol consumption and recent heavy alcohol abuse. Severe AH is a life-threatening form of alcohol-associated liver disease with a high short-term mortality rate around 30–50% at one month from the initial presentation. A large number of pro-inflammatory mediators, metabolic pathways, transcriptional factors and epigenetic factors have been suggested to be associated with the development and progression of AH. Several factors may contribute to liver failure and mortality in patients with severe AH including hepatocyte death, inflammation, and impaired liver regeneration. Although the pathogeneses of AH have been extensively investigated and many therapeutic targets have been identified over the last five decades, no new drugs for AH have been successfully developed. In this review, we discuss interleukin-22 (IL-22) biology and its roles of anti-apoptosis, anti-fibrosis, anti-oxidation, anti-bacterial infection and regenerative stimulation in protecting against liver injury in many preclinical models including several recently developed models such as chronic-plus-binge ethanol feeding, acute-on-chronic liver failure, C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 1 plus high-fat diet-induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Finally, clinical trials of IL-22 for the treatment of AH are also discussed, which showed some promising benefits for AH patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-676
Number of pages10
JournalHepatology International
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Acute-on-chronic liver failure
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Inflammation
  • Liver regeneration
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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