Background: This study examined the effects of chronic alcohol consumption in the rat erythrocytes membrane as well as the involvement of reactive oxygen species and proinflammatory cytokines in its pathogenicity in rats and evaluated the ameliorating effects of myrtle berries seeds aqueous extract (MBSAE).
Methods: Fifty adult male Wistar rats were equally divided into five groups and treated daily for two months as follows: control, ethanol (3 g kg- 1 b.w., p.o.), and ethanol + MBSAE (25, 50 and 100 mg kg- 1, b.w., p.o.).
Results: Exposure of rats to alcohol caused significant changes of some haematological parameters, enhanced erythrocytes hemolysis as well as an overproduction of reactive oxygen species such as H2O2, OH• radical and superoxide anion, hence the increase of lipoperoxidation and the depletion of antioxidant enzymes activity as well as non-enzymatic antioxidant (-SH groups and GSH) levels. On the other hand, ethanol intoxication caused the increase of serum TNFα, IL-8, IL-6 and 1Lβ, markers of tissue inflammation. However, treatment with MBSAE alleviated all the deleterious effects of alcohol consumption.
Conclusions: MBSAE possess active compounds, which exert marked protective effects in chronic alcohol intoxication, possibly by regulating the erythrocytes osmotic stability as well as antioxidant and inflammatory mediators.
Keywords: Active compounds; Alcohol; Haematological parameters; Osmotic stability; Superoxide anion.