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Brain lipid changes after ethanol exposure

, : Brain lipid changes after ethanol exposure. Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences. Supplement 48: 245-266

Ethanol interacts with brain cell membranes because of its lipid solubility. This perturbation alters the biophysical properties of the membranes. During chronic ethanol treatment, the cell membranes become resistant to the perturbing effects of ethanol, suggesting changes in the lipid composition. The most consistently found effect on lipid composition after chronic ethanol exposure has been an increase in oleic acid proportions of glycerophospholipids. There are also different changes in specific glycerophospholipids. The polyunsaturated fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid in phosphatidylserine and arachidonic acid in phosphatidylethanolamine, were decreased. On the other hand, in phosphatidylcholine the saturated fatty acid palmitic acid was decreased after chronic ethanol exposure. Other changes found in brain after ethanol exposure are increased concentrations of acidic phospholipids and formation of abnormal phospholipids in which ethanol itself is a part of the molecule. Some of the changes found may be a result of adaptive mechanisms occurring in order to counteract the different biophysical effects of ethanol.


PMID: 2077698

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