Morphometric analysis of the rabbit myocardium after chronic ethanol feeding - early capillary changes

Basic Res Cardiol. Jan-Feb 1982;77(1):57-67. doi: 10.1007/BF01908131.


Male rabbits were fed with ethanol for 3 weeks. 10 ml of a 20% ethanol solution were applied daily with a stomach tube. The macroscopic, histologic and ultrastructural investigation of the hearts did not reveal and structural alterations. Morphometrically, the endothelial cells of the capillaries were changed, whereas the muscle cells did not show any abnormalities. The quantitative data indicate that the numerical density of endothelial cells is increased, whereas the volume density is not changed. This type of quantitative reaction pattern may be characterized as "proliferation" of endothelial cells. The proliferation is possibly related to ethanol-induced metabolic changes similar to chronic hypoxia. On the other hand, there is some evidence that the alteration is part of a general activation of mesenchymal cells in various organs after ethanol ingestion. The alteration is probably an early stage of the proliferation of capillaries.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Capillaries / pathology*
  • Cardiomyopathy, Alcoholic / pathology*
  • Endothelium / cytology
  • Ethanol / adverse effects
  • Heart / drug effects
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Myocardium / ultrastructure*
  • Rabbits


  • Ethanol