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Increased severity of alcoholic liver injury in female rats: role of oxidative stress, endotoxin, and chemokines.

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1
Department of Pathology, The University of Hong Kong and Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong. ananji@pathology.hku.hk

Abstract

Alcoholic liver injury is more severe and rapidly developing in women than men. To evaluate the reason(s) for these gender-related differences, we determined whether pathogenic mechanisms important in alcoholic liver injury in male rats were further upregulated in female rats. Male and age-matched female rats (7/group) were fed ethanol and a diet containing fish oil for 4 wk by intragastric infusion. Dextrose isocalorically replaced ethanol in control rats. We analyzed liver histopathology, lipid peroxidation, cytochrome P-450 (CYP)2E1 activity, nonheme iron, endotoxin, nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappa B) activation, and mRNA levels of cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and COX-2, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2). Alcohol-induced liver injury was more severe in female vs. male rats. Female rats had higher endotoxin, lipid peroxidation, and nonheme iron levels and increased NF-kappa B activation and upregulation of the chemokines MCP-1 and MIP-2. CYP2E1 activity and TNF-alpha and COX-2 levels were similar in male and female rats. Remarkably, female rats fed fish oil and dextrose also showed necrosis and inflammation. Our findings in ethanol-fed rats suggest that increased endotoxemia and lipid peroxidation in females stimulate NF-kappa B activation and chemokine production, enhancing liver injury. TNF-alpha and COX-2 upregulation are probably important in causing liver injury but do not explain gender-related differences.

PMID:
11705739
DOI:
10.1152/ajpgi.2001.281.6.G1348
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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