Long-term ethanol administration enhances age-dependent modulation of redox state in central and peripheral organs of rat: protection by metadoxine

Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1998;24(2):85-91.


Evidence is accumulating that intermediates of oxygen reduction may be associated with the development of alcoholic disease. In addition, free radical-induced perturbation of the oxidant/antioxidant balance in cells is widely recognized as the main causative factor of age-related disorders. In the present work, we investigated the effects of 25 months of ethanol consumption on the antioxidant defense system in different organs of rat in comparison with normal aging, in the absence and presence of treatment with metadoxine, an ion pair composed of pirrolidone carboxylate and pyridoxine. We demonstrate that aged rats underwent a significant perturbation of the antioxidant defense system, as indicated by depletion of reduced glutathione (GSH) content, and increases in oxidized GSH and free radical-induced luminescence associated with a decrease of GSH reductase and an increase of GSH transferase activities. These modifications, observed particularly in the liver and brain with respect to other organs, were enhanced by long-term alcohol exposure, and interestingly, significantly reduced after metadoxine supplementation. Our results indicate that increased GSH transferase activity and decreased GSH reductase activity, followed by thiol depletion, are important factors sustaining a pathogenic role for oxidative stress in aging and in all situations where age-correlated changes occur. Administration of metadoxine greatly reduces these metabolic abnormalities. This evidence supports the pharmacological potential of metadoxine in the management of alcoholic disturbances.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Drug Combinations
  • Ethanol / administration & dosage
  • Ethanol / metabolism
  • Ethanol / toxicity*
  • Glutathione / metabolism*
  • Glutathione Reductase / metabolism
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Oxidation-Reduction / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Pyridoxine / pharmacology*
  • Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Antioxidants
  • Drug Combinations
  • Ethanol
  • Glutathione Reductase
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • metadoxine
  • Glutathione
  • Pyridoxine
  • Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid