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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1991 Jan 3;1056(1):40-6.

The interaction between chronic ethanol consumption and oxygen tension in influencing the energy state of rat liver.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Wake Forest University Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC 27103.


Hepatocytes were isolated from chow-fed and liquid-diet control rats, and animals fed ethanol chronically for 31 days. These preparations were analyzed for adenine nucleotide and inorganic phosphate concentrations after being maintained under various conditions of oxygenation and nutrient availability. Hepatocytes from ethanol-fed animals resuspended at high cell density (oxygen tensions near zero) demonstrated a greater depression in cellular energy state as indicated by decreases in phosphorylation potential and energy charge. If, however, these hepatocytes were restored to high oxygen tension their energy state was equivalent to that observed with preparations from liquid-diet control animals. Moreover, their rate of oxygen consumption was equivalent to that of control hepatocytes. Analyses of livers from chow-fed, liquid diet control, and ethanol-fed rats which were freeze-clamped while being perfused by the animal's blood revealed that there were no significant differences in the energy states of the hepatic tissue from these three animal groups. These results indicate that (1) the hepatic energy state in rats fed ethanol chronically is maintained under conditions of normal oxygen tension and (2) that hepatic tissue from these animals experiences a much more dramatic depression in energy state than tissue from control rats when subjected to oxygen deprivation.

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