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Life Sci. 1993;52(19):1585-93.

The effects of alcohol on murine macrophage function.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock 79409.


Animal models used to measure the effects of alcohol on lymphoid cells and their functions provide useful ways to evaluate the multisystem effects of this substance. The effects of ethanol ingestion on the function of murine peritoneal macrophages (M phi) was evaluated. Both the production of reactive oxygen intermediates (ROI) and the ingestion of foreign particles (phagocytosis) were studied. Mice were pair fed ad libitum a nutritionally complete liquid diet containing 7% v/v ethanol or a calorically balanced control diet. Two regimens were employed for the administration of the diets. One regimen represented "binge" drinking (short term-4 days) while the other represented "chronic" consumption (long term-14 days). Following the short term administration of the diets, an increase in the respiratory burst (RB), as well as a decrease in phagocytosis, were observed with M phi from the ethanol fed mice. The decrease in phagocytosis, was noted using either in vitro or in vivo methods. Results observed after long term administration indicated no significant change in the RB or in in vitro phagocytosis between the ethanol and control groups. Phagocytosis measured in vivo, however, was decreased in M phi from ethanol fed mice following long term administration. These results indicate an alteration in murine peritoneal M phi function following short term an long term administration of alcohol.

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