Does stress exacerbate liver diseases?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although anecdotal comments on detrimental effects of psychosocial stress on liver diseases can be found even in the early literature, only recently has scientific evidence been reported. The present article reviewed such evidence to demonstrate how stress exacerbates liver diseases. A search of the literature from the last two decades was performed using MEDLINE by pairing 'psychological stress' with 'liver' or 'hepatitis.' Additional research was conducted by screening the bibliographies of articles retrieved in the MEDLINE search. The search results showed that the principal effectors of the activated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, glucocorticoids, can exert a facilitative effect on the hepatic inflammatory response and even increase the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma. For certain liver diseases, defective HPA axis activation, which probably contributed to the exacerbation of the liver disease, has been reported. The efferent sympathetic/adrenomedullary system mainly contributes to the stress-induced exacerbation of liver diseases via its neurotransmitters, the catecholamines. In contrast, the efferent parasympathetic nervous system elicits an inhibitory effect on the development of hepatic inflammation. In conclusion, the pathophysiological interaction between stress and the liver appears to be regulated by the complex, dynamic networks of both the endocrine and autonomic nervous systems, which implies a further need for basic research into the involved mechanisms and for clinical evidence to apply psychosocial support to patients with chronic liver diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-208
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Volume21
Issue number1 PART2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2006

Fingerprint

Liver Diseases
Liver
MEDLINE
Parasympathetic Nervous System
Autonomic Nervous System
Bibliography
Psychological Stress
Research
Glucocorticoids
Hepatitis
Catecholamines
Neurotransmitter Agents
Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Chronic Disease
Inflammation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

Does stress exacerbate liver diseases? / Chida, Yoichi; Sudo, Nobuyuki; Kubo, Chiharu.

In: Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia), Vol. 21, No. 1 PART2, 01.01.2006, p. 202-208.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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