HUMAN & EXPERIMENTAL TOXICOLOGY, vol.29, no.8, pp.659-665, 2010 (SCI-Expanded)
Carnosine is a dipeptide having strong antioxidant effects. Oxidative stress plays an important role in pathogenesis of alcohol-induced liver injury. In this study, we investigated the effect of carnosine pretreatment on ethanol-induced oxidative stress and hepatotoxicity. Rats were given carnosine (2 g/L in drinking water) for 4 weeks and then ethanol was administered orally to rats at a dose of 5 g/kg every 12 hours for 3 doses totally (binge model). All rats were killed 6 hours after last ethanol injection. Plasma alanine (ALT) and aspartate (AST) transaminase activities and liver triglyceride, malondialdehyde (MDA), diene conjugate (DC), glutathione (GSH), vitamin E and vitamin C levels and superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and glutathione transferase (GST) activities were determined. Binge ethanol administration resulted in significant increases in plasma transaminase activities, hepatic triglyceride and lipid peroxide levels. However, GSH, vitamin E, vitamin C levels and GSH-Px and GST activities were found to be decreased following ethanol administration. Macromicrovesicular steatosis was also seen. Carnosine pretreatment appeared to prevent the increase of plasma ALT and AST activities and hepatic MDA and DC levels following ethanol treatment. In addition, hepatic GSH levels increased, but there were no changes in triglyceride, vitamin E, vitamin C levels and SOD, GSH-Px and GST activities, following ethanol treatment in carnosine-pretreated rats. There was also no change in liver histopathological appearance. In conclusion, carnosine prevented the increases in serum transaminase activities and lipid peroxides in liver of ethanol-treated rats, without any change on steatosis in liver.