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Toxicol Lett. 2009 Aug 10;188(3):208-13. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2009.04.013. Epub 2009 May 3.

Hepatocyte growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor and nerve growth factor are differentially affected by early chronic ethanol or red wine intake.

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Istituto di Neurobiologia e Medicina Molecolare, Rome, Italy.


Ethanol intake during pregnancy and lactation induces severe changes in brain and liver throughout mechanisms involving growth factors. These are signaling molecules regulating survival, differentiation, maintenance and connectivity of brain and liver cells. Ethanol is an element of red wine which contains also compounds with antioxidant properties. Aim of the study was to investigate differences in hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) in brain areas and liver by ELISA of 1-month-old male mice exposed perinatally to ethanol at 11 vol.% or to red wine at same ethanol concentration. Ethanol was administered before and during pregnancy up to pups' weaning. Ethanol per se elevated HGF in liver and cortex, potentiated liver VEGF, reduced GDNF in the liver and decreased NGF content in hippocampus and cortex in the offspring. We did not find changes in HGF or NGF due to red wine exposure. However, we revealed elevation in VEGF levels in liver and reduced GDNF in the cortex of animals exposed to red wine but the VEGF liver increase was more marked in animals exposed to ethanol only compared to the red wine group. In conclusion the present findings in the mouse show differences in ethanol-induced toxicity when ethanol is administered alone or in red wine that may be related to compounds with antioxidant properties present in the red wine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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