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Pathophysiology. 2000 Apr;7(1):25-32.

Dose response of ethanol on antioxidant defense system of liver, lung, and kidney in rat.

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Department of Pharmacology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, PO Box 19629, 62794-9629, Springfield, IL, USA


This study investigated the alterations in levels of glutathione, lipid peroxidation, and antioxidant enzyme activity in the liver, lung, and kidney of rats treated with acute doses of ethanol. Male Fisher-344 rats were randomly divided into four groups, and were treated as follows: (1) vehicle (saline) control; (2) ethanol 2 g/kg, p.o.; (3) ethanol 4g/kg, p.o.; and (4) ethanol 6 g/kg, p.o. The animals were sacrificed 1 h after treatment, and tissues were isolated and analyzed. The hepatic GSH levels significantly decreased (73, 68, and 66% of control) due to ethanol ingestion at 2, 4, and 6g/kg, respectively. The hepatic GSH/GSSG ratio also decreased with increasing doses indicating stress response due to ethanol. The hepatic SOD activity significantly decreased (70, 75 and 71% of control) with graded doses of ethanol ingestion. The hepatic CAT/SOD and GSH-Px+CAT/SOD ratios significantly increased (147, 169 and 177% of control) and (140, 167 and 178% of control), respectively with increasing doses of ethanol. In the lung, graded doses of ethanol increased GSH-Px activity (120, 114 and 141% of control) and decreased GR activity (98, 89 and 89% of control), respectively. The MDA concentrations in the lung also increased after higher ethanol ingestion. Most of the antioxidant enzyme ratios increased with increasing doses of ethanol in the lung. In the kidney, GSH-Px activity increased (139, 119 and 151% of control), whereas GR activity decreased (84, 85 and 83% of control). GSH-Px/SOD and GSH-Px+CAT/SOD ratios increased whereas GR/GSH-Px ratio decreased after graded doses of ethanol. GSH levels in the kidney decreased after ethanol ingestion. MDA concentrations increased with increasing dose of ethanol in the kidney. These results showed the dose dependant and tissue specific changes in the antioxidant system after ethanol ingestion. Ethanol exerts oxidative stress on antioxidant systems of liver, lung and kidney in proportion to the amount of ethanol ingestion.


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