The effect of alcohol and gemfibrozil co-administration in Wistar rats

In Vivo. 2004 Jan-Feb;18(1):49-53.


Introduction: The ingestion of alcohol (Alc) as well as gemfibrozil (Gem), a fibrate drug used to treat hypertriglyceridaemia, may occur on a long-term basis in humans. Since both Alc and Gem can disturb liver function, we assessed the effects of administering Alc together with Gem in Wistar rats.

Materials and methods: Male Wistar rats were randomized and divided into 4 groups of 10 each. They were fed (once a day) via a stomach tube with: i) 2 ml of polyethylene glycol (Peg); group Peg, ii) 2 ml of Peg + 2 ml of 25% v/v pure Alc in water; group Alc + Peg, iii) 2 ml of Gem solution in Peg (3.4 mg/100 g body weight); group Gem +Peg, iv) 2 ml of Gem solution in Peg 2 + 2 ml of Alc; group Gem +Alc +Peg. Another 13 male Wistar rats were only fed a standard laboratory diet (control group). After 8 weeks, blood samples were drawn and the livers removed. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (AP), total cholesterol (TC) and triglycerides (TG) were measured. Liver histopathology was also assessed.

Results: All tube-fed groups had higher body mass index compared to controls (p<0.001). The control group had lower AP compared to Gem+Peg and Gem +Alc+Peg groups (p=0.005 and p=0.018, respectively). The Peg group had lower AP compared to G+Peg (p=0.041). All tube-fed groups had lower ALT compared to controls (p<0.001). The TC levels were lower in tube-fed groups with Gem (Gem +Peg and Gem+Alc +Peg) compared to controls (p=0.002 and p=0.039, respectively). Among the tube-fed groups, the TC level was lower in Gem +Peg compared to Peg and Alc+Peg groups (p=0.047 and p=0.01, respectively). No differences were found among tube-fed groups and control rats in blood AST and TG. Liver histopathology was similar in all groups and within the normal range.

Conclusion: A moderate amount of Alc daily together with Gem is safe in rats. Peg administration in Wistar rats protects from the Alc-induced TG and AST rises.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Drug Combinations
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Gemfibrozil / pharmacology*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Drug Combinations
  • Ethanol
  • Cholesterol
  • Gemfibrozil