Ethanol intake-induced apoptosis in glial cells and axonal disorders in the cerebellar white matter of UChA rats (voluntary ethanol consumers)

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Elsevier B. V.



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Ethanol intake may cause alterations in cellular metabolism altering motricity, learning and cognition. The cerebellum is one of the most susceptible organs to ethanol-related disorders during development, and is associated with oxidative stress-induced apoptosis being crucial for pathogenic consequences. The UChA variety is a special strain of Wistar rat genetically selected and represents a rare model for the studies related to genetic, biochemical, physiological, nutritional, and pharmacological effects of ethanol. We evaluated the structure and apoptosis in the cerebellar white matter of UChA rats. There were two groups of 09 rats: a control group that did not consume ethanol, and an experimental group of UChA rats that consumed ethanol at 10% (v/v) (<2 g ethanol/kg body weight/day). At 120 days old, rats were anaesthetized followed by decapitation, and their cerebella were collected and fixed. Cerebellar sections were subjected to immunohistochemistry for Caspase-3 and XIAP and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The UChA group showed more glial cells immunoreactive for caspase-3 and less for XIAP than control group. Alcohol consumption affected myelin integrity. Severe ultrastructural damages in UChA group were observed such as disruption of the myelin sheath, disorganization and deformation of its components, and an increase in the interaxonal spaces. In conclusion, our data demonstrated that ethanol induced apoptosis in the glial cells and promoted an intense change in the myelin sheath of UChA rats, which may cause functional disorders.




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Tissue & Cell, v. 47, n. 4, p. 389-394, 2015.

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