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Hepatology. 1997 Feb;25(2):351-5.

Effect of chronic ethanol feeding on lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation in relation to liver pathology.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Research on Alcoholism, Univ. RenĂ© Descartes,Paris, France.


Liver lipid peroxidation, nonheme iron, antioxidants, and protein oxidation were investigated in experimental alcohol-induced liver disease in the rat. Wistar male rats were intragastrically and continuously infused for 4 weeks with a high-fat diet plus an ethanol or an isocaloric amount of dextrose, maintaining a high blood alcohol level (200-300 mg%). This model induced fatty liver, spotty necrosis, and focal inflammation. This pathology was associated with an enhanced lipid peroxidation and a decrease in the major antioxidant factors. Hepatic alpha-tocopherol and glutathione concentrations were significantly decreased in ethanol-fed rats. Glutathione peroxidase (GPx) was also decreased, whereas glutathione S-transferase (GST) was unaffected. The nonheme iron level was significantly decreased. Protein oxidation was assessed through three parameters: protein thiols, protein carbonyl groups, and the activity of glutamine synthetase (GS), a centrilobular enzyme particularly susceptible to free-radical-mediated damage. Ethanol-fed rats had decreased protein thiol concentrations and reduced GS activity, together with increased protein carbonyls. A significant correlation between GS activity and the pathological score was observed. This study confirms the ethanol-related increase in lipid peroxidation and shows that ethanol impairs the hepatic antioxidant potential. Furthermore, evidence of oxidative protein damage is given, including decreased activity of a key enzyme of ammonia metabolism. These protein disturbances may contribute to the pathogenesis of the observed liver damage.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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