Effects of low dose of ethanol on the senescence score, brain function and gene expression in senescence-accelerated mice 8 (SAMP8)

Exp Ther Med. 2017 Aug;14(2):1433-1440. doi: 10.3892/etm.2017.4633. Epub 2017 Jun 20.


Accumulating epidemiological evidence suggests light to moderate alcohol intake reduces risk of several chronic diseases. However, there is limited information regarding the effects of low alcohol intake in animal studies. This study investigated the effect of low ethanol dosage on senescence-accelerated mouse (SAMP8), an animal model of aging and neurodegenaration. Male SAMP8 mice (11 weeks old) had free access to a commercial stock diet with drinking water containing 0, 1 or 2% (v/v) ethanol for 15 weeks. The total grading score of senescence in the 1%-ethanol group was, in large part, the lowest among the three groups. Analysis using the open-field test revealed a significant elevation (+77%, P<0.05) in the rearing activity (index of seeking behavior) in the 1%-ethanol group, but not in the 2%-ethanol group. In addition, 2% ethanol elevated spontaneous locomotor activity (+75%, P<0.05), whereas 1% ethanol did not. Scrutiny of serum parameters indicated intake of 1% ethanol significantly decreased serum insulin levels (-13%, P<0.05), whereas 2% did not. Intake of 2% ethanol significantly elevated (2.5-fold, P<0.05) S100a8 mRNA (an inflammatory signal) in the brain, but that of 1% ethanol did not. Intriguingly, 1% ethanol intake remarkably elevated (10-fold, P<0.05) mRNA of brain alcohol dehydrogenase 1 (Adh1), which metabolizes lipid-peroxidation products and is involved in the synthesis of retinoic acid, a neuroprotective factor. Of note, 2%-ethanol intake did not exert this effect. Taken together, intake of 1% ethanol is likely to be beneficial for SAMP8 mice.

Keywords: aging; alcohol dehydrogenase 1; brain; ethanol; senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8.