Mechanism of the Swift Increase in Alcohol Metabolism (“SIAM”) in the Rat

  • T. Yuki
  • R. G. Thurman


Gastric intubation of female Sprague-Dawley rats (80–150 g) with one large dose (5 g/kg) of ethanol nearly doubled oxygen uptake of the isolated, perfused rat liver in only 2.5 hours. This increased hepatic respiration can account for the Swift Increase in Alcohol Metabolism (SIAM). Inhibition of enhanced oxygen and ethanol uptake by KCN (2 mM) and 4-methylpyrazole (0.8 mM) indicated the involvement of the mitochondrial respiratory chain and alcohol dehydrogenase in this phenomenon, respectively.

Epinephrine (2 mg/kg, i.p.) mimicked the increase in respiration observed with ethanol; however, the effects of epinephrine and ethanol were not additive. Pretreatment with α- or β-adrenergic blocking agents, hypophysectomy and adrenalectomy prevented the increase in oxygen and ethanol uptake due to ethanol treatment. These data suggest that hormones including epinephrine are involved in the mechanism of SIAM. Hormone action in all liklihood activates a number of metabolic ATPase activities which lead to elevated oxygen uptake. One such process involved in the activation of oxygen uptake is diminished glycolysis, a ATP producing reaction sequence. The ADP not phosphorylated in the cytosol then enters the mitochondria where it stimulates oxygen uptake and NADH reoxidation. This ultimately leads to an acceleration of ADH-dependent ethanol metabolism.


Oxygen Uptake Alcohol Dehydrogenase Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain Ethanol Uptake Perfuse Liver 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Yuki
    • 1
  • R. G. Thurman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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