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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Acetaldehyde and the Hypothermic Effects of Ethanol in Mice
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research Early View 31 August 2009

Acetaldehyde, the first metabolite of ethanol, has been suggested to be involved in many behavioral effects of ethanol. However, few studies have investigated the hypothermic effects of acetaldehyde or the contribution of acetaldehyde to ethanol-induced hypothermia. The aim of the present study is to better understand the hypothermic effects of acetaldehyde and the possible contribution of acetaldehyde in ethanol-induced hypothermia, especially under conditions leading to acetaldehyde accumulation.

The results of the present study clearly show that acetaldehyde has hypothermic properties in mice at least at relatively high concentrations. Furthermore, the accumulation of acetaldehyde following ALDH inhibition strongly enhanced the hypothermic effects of ethanol. These latter results confirm the hypothermic properties of acetaldehyde and show that acetate, the next step in ethanol metabolism, is not involved in these hypothermic effects. Finally, the experiment with 4-MP indicates that the potentiating effects of cyanamide are mediated by the peripheral accumulation of acetaldehyde, which then reaches the brain to induce a severe hypothermia.

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