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Arch Soc Esp Oftalmol. 2007 Dec;82(12):757-62.

[Chronic ethanol feeding induces oxidative stress in the rat retina: treatment with the antioxidant ebselen].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Fundación Oftalmológica del Mediterráneo, Valencia, España.



To assess the involvement of biochemical and functional changes to the retina after chronic ethanol intake in adult rats, and the capacity of the antioxidant ebselen to prevent these changes.


Male Sprague-Dawley rats were used in the study. They were fed an ethanol-containing liquid diet, whereas a control group was given an ethanol-free isocaloric diet. After six weeks of experiment, the eyes were extracted and homogenized without the lens, and markers of oxidative stress were assayed, i.e., glutathione (GSH) and malondialdehyde (MDA) as an intracellular antioxidant and a lipid peroxidation product, respectively. Moreover, retinal function was assessed by electroretinogram (ERG).


The retinal MDA concentration was significantly increased in the ethanol-fed animals compared to controls, whereas the GSH content was significantly reduced in the ethanol-fed group compared to controls. Ethanol also induced a decrease in ERG b-wave amplitude. Ebselen treatment restored the MDA and GSH concentrations and ERG b-wave amplitude to control values.


These results indicate that chronic alcohol consumption alone and without the influence of nutritional factors alters the retinal redox status as well as its function (ERG). Further studies are required to better understand the protective mechanism of ebselen in this experimental model of chronic alcoholism.

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