Ethanol and complement hemolytic activity of selectively bred hypercholinergic rats.
Depression and alcoholism are associated with impaired immune responses. Complement proteins and fragments participate in the induction and modulation of both specific and non-specific immune reactions. This study examined the effect of prolonged ethanol ingestion on complement CH50 levels in two strains of rats, the Flinders Resistant Line (FRL) and the Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL), that differ in cholinergic sensitivity and depressive tendencies. Chronic ethanol exposure given as either the source of drinking fluid or as a liquid diet had a significant inhibition on mean CH50 unit responses in both FSL (41-48%) and FRL (23-24%) rats. The difference in group response to ethanol was confirmed by a significant interaction of ethanol treatment versus group in the two-way ANOVA. The FSL rats appear to be more easily affected than FRLs. Genetic differences in the neurotransmitter systems, therefore, may play a role in susceptibility to immunosuppression resulting from ethanol exposure.
Ayensu, WK; Rezvani, AH; Overstreet, DH; Pucilowski, O; Janowsky, DS
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