Acute ethanol administration modulates leukocyte actin polymerization in endotoxic rats

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1997 Aug;21(5):779-83.


The effects of acute ethanol intoxication with or without endotoxemia were studied on chemoattractant-initiated actin polymerization in circulating and liver-recruited neutrophils [polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs)] and Kupffer cells of age-matched male and female rats. In female rats, F-actin content in response to f-Met-Leu-Phe in circulating PMNs was significantly upregulated by ethanol+endotoxin (ET) treatment relative to saline+ET-treated animals. Male rats did not show this upregulated response. In liver-recruited PMNs, the F-actin response did not change significantly due to ethanol + ET treatment in cells of either gender. The actin polymerization response in Kupffer cells was smaller than in liver sequestered PMNs and also exhibited a gender difference. In Kupffer cells of female rats, only ethanol+ET treatment elicited an F-actin response to f-Met-Leu-Phe, whereas in cells of male rats similar increases in F-actin content were observed in both saline+ET and ethanol+ET groups. We conclude that ethanol-enhanced actin polymerization in rats is associated with gender differences. This may be one of the underlying mechanisms resulting in upregulated leukocyte activation in acutely ethanol-intoxicated endotoxic animals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / blood*
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / drug effects
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / immunology
  • Endotoxins / blood*
  • Escherichia coli / immunology*
  • Female
  • Kupffer Cells / drug effects*
  • Kupffer Cells / immunology
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / immunology
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic / immunology
  • Male
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine / pharmacology
  • Neutrophils / drug effects*
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Polymers
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects
  • Up-Regulation / immunology


  • Actins
  • Endotoxins
  • Polymers
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine