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Braz J Med Biol Res. 1996 May;29(5):651-7.

Ethanol elimination by rats as a function of reproductive state, gender and nutritional status.

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Departamento de Fisiologia, Universidade Federal Fluminense, NiterĂ³i, RJ, Brasil.


Alcohol elimination was studied in rats of different ages, reproductive states and nutritional deprivation, with the following results: 1) blood levels of ethanol 180 min after a single dose of 1.5 g/kg, ip were significantly higher in adult male (74 days old, N = 5) than in young male rats (34 days old, N = 5): 92.4 +/- 8.4 vs 6.8 +/- 3.4 mg/100 ml, means +/- SD, respectively; 2) when male rats were given a low protein diet for 48 h, blood ethanol levels after a single dose were significantly increased in young males (38.6 +/- 14.6 mg/100 ml) but no effect after a single dose was found in the same animals at an older age (93.2 +/- 5.0 mg/100 ml); 3) blood levels in female rats were higher than in young males both in the virgin and pregnant states, but during lactation a significant drop in blood levels of ethanol was observed. Blood levels of ethanol (mg/100 ml) 180 min after a single dose of 1.5 g/kg, ip, in females, were: virgin (N = 6): 44.9 +/- 16.1, pregnant (N = 5): 40.0 +/- 10.4, lactant (N = 5) 8.8 +/- 5.8. This difference between virgin and pregnant and lactant rats was not related to changes in ADH activity which did not differ between groups. The present study indicates that in male rats the effect of a short-term protein deprivation on ethanol elimination is dependent on the age of the animal. In females, reproductive state is an important factor in determining ethanol elimination.

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