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N Am J Med Sci. 2009 Oct;1(5):239-43. doi: 10.4297/najms.2009.5239.

Influence of chronic ethanol consumption on extra-pancreatic secretory function in rat.

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  • 1Department of General Medicine and Emergency Care, Toho University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.



The usefulness of the typical direct methods involving duodenal intubation, such as the secretin and secretin-cholecystokinin tests, in the diagnosis of exocrine pancreatic dysfunction is widely accepted. However, these diagnostic tests tend to be avoided because of their technical complexity and the burden on patients. Recently, a simple breath test was developed for assessment of exocrine pancreatic function employing 13C-dipeptide [i.e., benzoyl-L-tyrosyl-[1-13C] alanine (Bz-Tyr-Ala)]. Although alcohol abuse causes pancreatic damage in humans, this has been unclear in rats.


The aim of the study is to evaluate the effect of ethanol exposure beginning at an early age on extra-pancreatic secretory function in rats.


Twelve female rats of the F344 strain aged 12 months were used. Seven rats were fed on a commercial mash food with 16% ethanol solution (Japanese Sake) as drinking-fluid since at 29 days of age (ethanol group). The remaining five rats were fed on a nutrient-matched isocaloric diet with water as drinking-fluid (control group). After 24-hr fasting, rats are orally administrated 1cc of water containing sodium 13C-dipeptide (5 mg/kg) and housed in an animal chamber. The expired air in the chamber is collected in a breath-sampling bag using a tube and aspiration pump. The 13CO2 concentration is measured using an infrared spectrometer at 10-min interval for 120 min and expressed as delta per mil.


The breath 13CO2 level increased and peaked at 20 min in both two groups. In general, 13CO2 excretion peaked rapidly and also decreased sooner in ethanol rats than in control rats. The mean value of the maximal 13CO2 excretion is 34.7 per mil in ethanol rats, greater than in control rats (31.4 per mil), but the difference did not reach the statistically significance.


Chronic ethanol feeding beginning at an early age does not affect extra-pancreatic secretory function in rats.


13C-acetate breath test; Acetate oxidation; ageing; ovariectomy

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