Cold Stress and Endogenic System Ethanol – Acetaldehyde

Olga N. Kolosova, Boris M. Kerschengolts, Efim S. Khlebnyy

International Journal of Biomedicine. 2019;9(4):356-360.
DOI: 10.21103/Article9(4)_OA16
Originally published December 15, 2019


The article presents data on the effects of cold stress on changes in the concentrations of endogenous ethanol (EE) and acetaldehyde (EA), and the activities of the key enzymes involved in their metabolism—alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (AHD) in laboratory animals. Mature male Wistar rats were used in the experiment. Animals in the vivarium were kept in cages at a temperature of 20%-22°C, without limitation of mobility, with free access to water with an adjustable light schedule (12 hours - light, 12 hours - darkness). Simulation of cold stressing was carried out for 7 weeks at a temperature of 1-2°C, starting from 0.5 hour to 6 hours per day by the fourth week of the experiment. The concentration of EE and EA was determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The analysis of the activity of the ADH and AHD enzymes was performed by standard spectrophotometric methods.      The experiment showed that during cold stresses, the survival rate in rats strongly correlates with the EE content in the blood (r=0.757÷0.923). This fact suggests that when adapting cold-adapted animals to the effects of low temperatures, it is important to increase the EE concentration in the body, and the consumption of EE compensates for the increased need of the body in cold conditions for this metabolite. Based on the data obtained, a probable mechanism of the participation of EE in the processes of adaptation of higher vertebrates to cold is presented, which includes specific adaptive changes in the activities of the ADH and AHD enzymes.

adaptation • endogenous ethanol • endogenous acetaldehyde • aldehyde dehydrogenase • acetaldehyde dehydrogenase • laboratory rats
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Received August 30, 2019.
Accepted October 16, 2019.
©2019 International Medical Research and Development Corporation.