Morphologic changes in the urethral epithelium in an ethanol-drinking rat strain (UChA and UChB)
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The extreme use of ethanol causes metabolic and pathologic changes in testes and urogenital system in different animal species. The enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) catalyses the conversion of ethanol into carcinogenic metabolite acetaldehyde which is partly excreted into the urine. However, papers relating the chronic ethanol consumption to the urethral morphology are unknown. This work evaluates the toxic effect of the chronic ethanol ingestion on the urethral epithelium of UChA and UChB rats. Conventional techniques of histology, histochemistry, immunohistochemistry and ultrastructural analysis were used. The analysis showed the presence of lipid drops and intercellular spaces in the epithelial cells in the urethra of UChA and UChB rats compared to control rats. Urethral neuroendocrine cell were observed and characterized for presenting vesicles containing electron-dense granules associated with nervous fibers. We conclude that the chronic consumption of ethanol induces the presence lipid drops in the epithelial cells of the urethra of UChA and UChB rats. The NE cells of the urethra of UChA and UChB rats did not show alterations under chronic effect of the ethanol. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.