It was our hypothesis that, as a consequence of increased oxidative stress, cholesterol-derived hydroperoxides and oxysterols are increased in skeletal muscles chronically exposed to ethanol. To test this we fed male Wistar rats (0.1 kg initial body weight) a nutritionally complete liquid diet containing ethanol as 35% of total calories: controls were pair-fed identical amounts of the same diet in which ethanol was replaced by isocaloric glucose. At the end of 1(1/2) months, soleus (type I fiber-predominant) and plantaris (type II fiber-predominant) skeletal muscles were dissected out. We measured 7 alpha- and 7 beta-hydroperoxycholest-5-en-3 beta-ol (7 alpha-OOH and 7 beta-OOH), as well as 7 alpha- and 7 beta-hydroxycholesterol (7 alpha-OH and 7 beta-OH), and 3 beta-hydroxycholest-5-en-7-one (also termed 7-ketocholesterol; 7-keto). We identified and confirmed by LC-MS the presence of 7 alpha-OOH, 7 beta-OOH and 7 alpha-OH, 7 beta-OH and 7-keto in skeletal muscle of rats. We also showed that in response to chronic alcohol feeding, there were significant increases in soleus 7 alpha-OH (P =.0005), 7 beta-OH (P =.0005), and 7-keto (P =.0007). In the plantaris, mean 7 alpha-OH and 7-keto were not significantly altered (P >.05), but 7 beta-OH increased (P =.0418). This is the first report of 7 alpha-OH, 7 beta-OH, and 7-keto oxysterols being identified in skeletal muscle of rats. Their elevation in chronic experimental alcoholism, together with increases in cholesterol hydroperoxides, may possibly represent evidence of increased oxidative stress.
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