Ethanol in low chronic dose level attenuates major organic effects in malnourished rats
AGUIAR,ALINE S DE
FILHO,PORPHIRIO J S
SILVA,VILMA A DA
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the chronic toxicity of ethanol low blood levels in malnourished rats. Female Wistar rats (220 g) were subjected to either an ad libitum diet (W, well-nourished, n=10) or food restriction (M, malnourished, n=10). Water (WW and MW) or ethanol solution (W5% and M5%) was offered to half of each nutritional group (n=5) as the only fluid source. The treatment was continued for two months. After sacrifice, blood biochemical parameters and macroscopic, histologic and morphometric evaluation of the liver were performed. Results indicated that: Ethanol consumption was higher in malnourished rats and minimized body weight loss in malnourished rats, while it decreased the body weight gain in well-nourished ones. Behavioral ethanol intoxication was more severe in malnourished rats. Malnutrition decreased hematocrit and hemoglobin but, on the other hand, ethanol was a protective factor of that effect (hemoglobin: MW 10.6 mg/dl / ME 13.02 mg/dl, p< 0.05). Ethanol increased the relative liver weight of both well-nourished and malnourished rats. Ethanol intake minimized iron pigment, collagen area and binuclear hepatocyte/ field increased by malnutrition. These data are in accordance with previous reports which showed ethanol as an important source of calories and, even chronically, ethanol still attenuates the effects of malnutrition.