Author(s): Muldoon RT, McMartin KE
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Abstract The ethanol-induced increase in urinary folate excretion has been shown to decrease plasma folate levels and may contribute to the development of folate deficiency associated with alcoholism. The mechanism for this effect remains to be elucidated. The present studies were designed to examine the direct effect of ethanol on the renal handling of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-CH3-H4PteGlu), the physiological folate. Rats were given four consecutive hourly doses of ethanol (1 g/kg) or isocaloric doses of glucose solution orally. This treatment generated an average plasma ethanol level of 305 mg/dl. Kidneys from male Sprague-Dawley rats were removed 5 hr after initial treatment and perfused in vitro to eliminate any extrarenal effects that could confound interpretation of results. Ethanol was not added to the perfusate. These treatments had no effect on 5-CH3-H4PteGlu conservation by the isolated perfused rat kidney in comparison to experiments in which the animal received no treatment. Ethanol was then added directly to the perfusate to generate average concentrations of 293 mg/dl. The in vitro addition of ethanol significantly decreased the percentage reabsorption and increased the fractional excretion of 5-CH3-H4PteGlu in comparison to controls (kidneys perfused with or without an isocaloric dose of glucose). This effect did not become significant until the renal tissue was exposed to these levels of ethanol for 1 hr. These results indicate that ethanol directly impairs the renal conservation of 5-CH3-H4PteGlu.
This article was published in Alcohol Clin Exp Res
and referenced in Vitamins & Minerals