Nuclear DNA strand breaks during ethanol-induced oxidative stress in rat brain

FEBS Lett. 1996 Jul 22;390(2):153-6. doi: 10.1016/0014-5793(96)00647-3.


Free radical-mediated oxidative damage has been implicated in the pathophysiological mechanisms of apoptosis. In this study we report that statistically significant strand breaks were induced primarily in the hippocampus and cerebellum during chronic, and not acute, ethanol treatment. Damage to DNA observed in hippocampus and cerebellum was also correlated with significant modification in the activities of mitochondrial respiratory complexes I and IV and with a significant increase in lipid peroxidation products. This finding lends support to the fact that hippocampus and cerebellum are brain areas particularly vulnerable to redox changes induced by alcohol intoxication, suggesting lower threshold levels of ethanol tolerance.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cerebellum / drug effects
  • Cerebellum / metabolism
  • DNA Damage*
  • Electron Transport Complex I
  • Ethanol / blood
  • Ethanol / toxicity*
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • NADH, NADPH Oxidoreductases / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / blood


  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Ethanol
  • NADH, NADPH Oxidoreductases
  • Electron Transport Complex I