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Alcohol. 1999 Feb;17(2):97-105.

Dose- and time-dependent effects of ethanol on plasma antioxidant system in rat.

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Department of Pharmacology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield 62794-1222, USA.


This study investigates the dose- as well as time-dependent effects of ethanol ingestion on antioxidant system and lipid peroxidation in plasma of the rat. The plasma ethanol concentrations were 154+/-18, 231+/-53, and 268+/-49 mg/dl 1 h after oral ethanol doses of 2, 4, and 6 g/kg, respectively. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) (71%, 56%, and 41 % of control) and glutathione reductase (GR) (71%, 66%, and 55% of control) activity in plasma were significantly decreased in a dose-dependent manner. Catalase (CAT)/SOD and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px)/SOD ratios were significantly increased whereas GR/GSH-Px ratio was significantly decreased with increasing dose of ethanol. In a time course study, plasma ethanol concentrations were 177+/-9.7, 143+/-11, 99+/-17, and 26+/-11 mg/dl at 1.5, 2, 4, and 6 h after an oral dose (4 g/kg) of ethanol in rat indicating time-dependent elimination of ethanol. Plasma SOD and GSH-Px activity significantly increased 4-6 h whereas GR activity significantly decreased 2-4 h after ethanol ingestion. The ratio of GR/GSH-Px and the ratio of reduced glutathione (GSH) to oxidized glutathione (GSSG) in plasma decreased at 1.5-6 h after ethanol ingestion. Plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) levels significantly elevated with respect to an increase in time after ethanol ingestion, indicating time-dependent augmentation of lipid peroxidation. The data indicate that ethanol ingestion perturbs the plasma antioxidant system in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The significant changes in the ratios of CAT/SOD, GSH-Px/SOD, GR/GSH-Px, and GSH/GSSG in plasma may be used as an index of alcohol-induced oxidative stress.

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