Influence of Ethanol and Protein Deficiency on the Activity of Alcohol Dehydrogenase in the Rat Liver

  • H. Goebell
  • Ch. Bode


The possible toxicity of ethanol on liver cells is probably essentially determined by the level of ethanol and its decline as a function of time. Therefore it is of interest to know what conditions are likely to alter the rate of elimination of ethanol from the body. A delay of ethanol oxidation would prolong a toxic effect on the liver cell. Ethanol is oxidized mainly in the liver, the activity of the alcoholdehydrogenase (ADH) being the rate-limiting step (4). Its capacity for the oxidation of acetaldehyde was found to be 4 to 5 times higher than that for the oxidation of ethanol (4). The degradation of ethanol by the catalase (16) seems to play quantitatively only an insignificant role (13). A significant alteration of the activity of ADH, therefore, is likely to have profound influence on the velocity of ethanol oxidation. In this paper the influence of chronic ethanol intake and of a relative and total protein deficiency on the activity of the ADH in rat liver was studied in 3 different experiments. The blood elimination curve of ethanol was studied in a fourth experiment.


Alcohol Dehydrogenase Standard Diet Chronic Ethanol Ethanol Oxidation Protein Deficiency 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Goebell
  • Ch. Bode

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