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Alcohol. 1986 Jul-Aug;3(4):239-47.

Endogenous ethanol--its metabolic, behavioral and biomedical significance.


Ethanol is constantly formed endogenously from acetaldehyde, and level of the former can be measured in both human beings and animals. Acetaldehyde can be generated in situ from the metabolism of pyruvate, threonine, deoxyribose-5-phosphate, phosphoethanolamine, alanine and presumably from other substrates. The levels of blood and tissue endogenous ethanol change as a function of various physiologic and experimental conditions such as starvation, aging, stress, cooling, adrenalectomy, etc. and are regulated by many exogenous compounds such as antimetabolites, derivatives of amino acids, lithium salts, disulfiram, cyanamide, etc. Under free choice alcohol selection situations, the levels of endogenous ethanol in rat blood and alcohol preference by the animals are negatively correlated. Similar negative correlations have been found between the levels of blood endogenous ethanol and the frequency of delirium in alcoholic patients undergoing alcohol withdrawal. Endogenous ethanol and acetaldehyde can therefore be regarded as compounds which fulfil substrate, regulatory and modulator functions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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