Recent assessment of the glia cell-derived neuroprotein S-100b in serum has been considered as a screening method for possibly occult brain injury in patients with minor head trauma (MHT). Since MHT is associated with alcohol intoxication in up to 50% of patients requiring emergency treatment, the blood-brain barrier (BBB) as well as neuronal cell integrity may be also affected by alcohol abuse. So far, however, no valid data are available on the release of S-100b after alcohol exposure. Thus, the aim of our study was to investigate S-100b serum levels in a controlled alcohol exposure paradigm. 22 healthy volunteers were included in the study, blood samples were drawn prior to and about 90 minutes after drinking. The amount of alcohol was adjusted to the body weight. A mean of 66.7 +/- 14.81 g was consumed giving raise to a blood alcohol concentration of 0.827 +/- 0.158@1000. S-100b serum levels assayed by a luminescence immunoassay were compared with those of MHT patients. The still preliminary results suggest no increase of the serum S-100b levels (0.0509 +/- 0.048 ng/ml versus 0.0422 +/- 0.044 ng/ml) after moderate alcohol consumption. In contrast, MHT patients with alcohol intoxication (1.6 +/- 0.77@1000) revealed a significant up to 10fold elevation of S-100b serum levels. Because of the much higher blood alcohol concentration in the MHT patients compared to the control collective, a potential relationship between excessive alcohol consumption and the release of S-100b in minor head trauma can still not be excluded. Further investigations on this topic are in progress.