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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1983 Dec;227(2):534-41.

Increased chemiluminescence and superoxide production in the liver of chronically ethanol-treated rats.


Rats fed ethanol (1.74 +/- 0.12 g/day/100 g body wt for 12 weeks) showed a 45% increased microsomal production of O-2 (2.23 +/- 0.14 nmol/min/mg protein) and a 28% increased content of endoplasmic reticulum protein (26.8 +/- 1.4 mg/g liver). This could lead, at substrate saturation, to a 86% increased cytosolic production of O-2 which is not compensated by cytosolic superoxide dismutase levels that remain normal. It is claimed that this unbalance between O-2 production and superoxide dismutase leads to a peroxidative stress in agreement with the 54% increased spontaneous liver chemiluminescence (37 +/- 2 cps/cm2) measured in the ethanol-treated rats. Hydroperoxide-induced chemiluminescence was 57, 43, and 28% higher, respectively, in homogenates, mitochondria, and microsomes isolated from ethanol-treated rats as compared with controls. Vitamins E and A were more effective inhibitors of the hydroperoxide-stimulated chemiluminescence in the liver homogenates from ethanol-treated rats as compared with the effect on the homogenates from control animals. The results are consistent with a peroxidative stress in chronic alcoholism leading to increased lipoperoxidation and decreased levels of antioxidants.

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