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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Alterations of motor performance and brain cortex mitochondrial function during ethanol hangover

Ethanol has been known to affect various behavioral parameters in experimental animals, even several hours after ethanol (EtOH) is absent from blood circulation, in the period known as hangover.

The aim of this study was to assess the effects of acute ethanol hangover on motor performance in association with the brain cortex energetic metabolism.

Evaluation of motor performance and brain cortex mitochondrial function during alcohol hangover was performed in mice 6 hours after a high ethanol dose (hangover onset). Animals were injected i.p. either with saline (control group) or with ethanol (3.8 g/kg BW) (hangover group).

Ethanol hangover group showed a bad motor performance compared with control animals (
p < .05). Oxygen uptake in brain cortex mitochondria from hangover animals showed a 34% decrease in the respiratory control rate as compared with the control group. Mitochondrial complex activities were decreased being the complex I–III the less affected by the hangover condition; complex II–III was markedly decreased by ethanol hangover showing 50% less activity than controls. Complex IV was 42% decreased as compared with control animals. Hydrogen peroxide production was 51% increased in brain cortex mitochondria from the hangover group, as compared with the control animals. Quantification of the mitochondrial transmembrane potential indicated that ethanol injected animals presented 17% less ability to maintain the polarized condition as compared with controls.

These results indicate that a clear decrease in proton motive force occurs in brain cortex mitochondria during hangover conditions.

We can conclude that a decreased motor performance observed in the hangover group of animals could be associated with brain cortex mitochondrial dysfunction and the resulting impairment of its energetic metabolism.

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