To support the free and open dissemination of research findings and information on alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. To encourage open access to peer-reviewed articles free for all to view.

For full versions of posted research articles readers are encouraged to email requests for "electronic reprints" (text file, PDF files, FAX copies) to the corresponding or lead author, who is highlighted in the posting.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Experimental model of alcohol-related peripheral neuropathy

The aim of this work was to determine the effect of chronic alcohol exposure on peripheral nerves in a nutritionally balanced rat model of alcoholism.
Three different strains of adult male rats were pair-fed for 8 weeks with isocaloric liquid diets containing 0% or 37% ethanol. Nerve conduction studies (NCS) were performed. Peripheral nerve and muscle were examined histologically with morphometrics.
Ethanol exposure significantly slowed velocity in tibial and fibular nerves, but not in the plantar nerve in all 3 strains. Studies of the sciatic nerve revealed decreased fiber diameters and increased regenerative sprouts in peripheral nerves. There was muscle denervation of ethanol-exposed rats in all 3 strains.
Chronic ethanol exposure caused a polyneuropathy characterized by axonal degeneration despite adequate nutrition. These results suggest that ethanol exposure has direct neurotoxic effects on peripheral nerves. This model may be useful in understanding the underlying mechanism(s) of alcohol-related peripheral neuropathy.

Read Full Abstract

Request Reprint E-Mail: