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Asian Journal of Biochemistry
Year: 2007  |  Volume: 2  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 337 - 342

Changes in Rabbit Liver Function Markers after Chronic Exposure to Ethanol

I. Onyesom and E.O. Anosike    

Abstract: This research was conducted to monitor the changes in the serum levels of some traditional markers of liver function during ethanol experimental toxicity in rabbits. The test rabbits were orally given 1.5 g (40%) ethanol/kg body weight as single daily dose for a continuous period of fifteen weeks. Results show that the activities of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) significantly increased by 42.6 and 28.8% (p<0.05) at the 10th week of ethanol administration. However, the AST and ALT activity values, reduced to 30.9 and 15.9% (p>0.05) at the 15th week when the fatty hepatitis became recognized, as evidenced by the elevated degree of unconjugated bilirubin (p<0.05) and the microscopic examination, which indicates fibrotic changes in hepatic sections of the ethanol-treated rabbits. The conjugated:unconjugated (C:U) bilirubin ratio vs the AST:ALT ratio at the 5th, 10th and 15th week of ethanol treatment were 0.97 vs 0.66, 0.73 vs 0.65 and 0.56 vs 0.66. Those of the control rabbits were 1.87 vs 0.59, 1.68 vs 0.59 and 1.43 vs 0.61. The basal (0 week) C:U and AST: ALT ratios were 1.95 and 0.59, respectively. These characteristic ratios and the peculiar changes in AST and ALT activity values could be beneficial in predicting the stage and degree of hepatic damage.

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