Impact of an acute exposure to ethanol on the oxidative stress status in the hippocampus of prenatal restraint stress adolescent male rats

Mihaela Enache, Vincent Van Waes, Elisabeth Vinner, Michel Lhermitte, Stefania Maccari, Muriel Darnaudéry
Brain Research. 2008-01-01; 1191: 55-62
DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.11.031

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Prenatal restraint stress (PRS) in rats is associated with hippocampal dysfunctions and several behavioural and endocrine disorders related to this brain area. Recently, we have reported that the PRS modifies the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) response to an ethanol challenge in adolescent animals. Since hippocampus is particularly sensitive to the deleterious effects of ethanol during adolescence, we investigated in this study the combined effects of PRS and ethanol administration on the oxidative status in the hippocampus of 28-day-old male rats. Thirty minutes after an intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of ethanol (1.5 g/kg), the activities of several antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase) but also non-enzymatic antioxidant (reduced glutathione) were assayed. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) levels were also measured as a marker of lipid peroxidation. Ethanol enhanced superoxide dismutase activity in control rats but not in PRS rats. At basal level, catalase activity was lower in PRS rats than in control rats, indicating a potentially higher sensitivity to oxidative damages after this early stress. However, the hippocampal TBARS levels were not significantly affected by the ethanol administration, showing that an acute ethanol exposure does not induce oxidative damage in adolescent male rats. In conclusion, our data suggest that PRS affects both basal antioxidant status in the hippocampus and antioxidant response after an acute ethanol exposure. These findings extend previous works showing that PRS leads to hippocampal dysfunctions and raise the question of the potential increase of the hippocampal oxidative damage in PRS rats after repeated exposure to ethanol.

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