Can megadoses of thiamine prevent ethanol-induced damages of rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurones?

Z Ernahrungswiss. 1996 Sep;35(3):266-72. doi: 10.1007/BF01625691.


The specific aim of this study was to evaluate whether high doses of thiamine can compensate or prevent alcohol-induced damages of rat hippocampus CA1 pyramids. Twenty weeks of ethanol consumption together with a dose of thiamine in the range of 1.19 mg/100 mg food induced significant enlargement (parameters measured were length of the whole spine and diameter of the end-bulb) of dendritic spines. Hypertrophy can be interpreted as a compensation process due to alcohol-induced cell death because viable spines are in search of new synaptic contacts. In contrast, dendritic spines of the alcohol group fed at the same time with a high dose of thiamine (119 mg/ 100 g food = megavitamintherapy) showed normal data concerning these parameters. From these results it may be concluded that a megavitamin therapy supports a neuron's carbohydrate metabolism and therefore could be able to prevent or reduce alcohol-induced damages of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells in rat central nervous system.

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / complications
  • Alcoholism / drug therapy
  • Alcoholism / pathology
  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System Depressants / administration & dosage
  • Central Nervous System Depressants / toxicity*
  • Eating
  • Ethanol / administration & dosage
  • Ethanol / toxicity*
  • Hippocampus / drug effects*
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Male
  • Pyramidal Cells / drug effects*
  • Pyramidal Cells / pathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Thiamine / administration & dosage*
  • Thiamine / therapeutic use
  • Thiamine Deficiency / complications
  • Thiamine Deficiency / drug therapy
  • Thiamine Deficiency / pathology


  • Central Nervous System Depressants
  • Ethanol
  • Thiamine