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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

versão impressa ISSN 0004-282X


SILVA, João Batista Guedes e; LISBOA, Jorge A. da Costa; FREITAS, Marcos R. G.  e  NASCIMENTO, Osvaldo J. M.. Study of ultrastructural alterations in gastrocnemius muscle of C57 BL10 mice after prolonged ethanol ingestion. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 1996, vol.54, n.2, pp.260-272. ISSN 0004-282X.

The effects of chronic alcoholism on gastrocnemius muscle of well-nourished mice were morphologically studied to test the direct toxic role of ethanol on skeletal muscle. Thirty male young adult C57BL10 mice were divided in two groups: Group A (control) consisting of ten mice that drank water and Group B (alcoholic) consisting of twenty mice that drank 25% ethanol. All mice were allowed a balanced laboratory chow. The animals were kept on this ad libitum regimen under the same conditions of environment for 48 weeks and were weighed once a week. The daily dietary consumption and caloric intake were estimated, the animals having had a substantial weight gain, showing no signs of malnutrition. At the end of the experiment the animals were killed for morphological studies. No abnormalities were observed by conventional microscopy.Striking deviations from normal were verified by electron microscopy in all specimens. Dilatation of sarcoplasmic reticulum was a common feature, sometimes resulting in the formation of large vesicles and involving the terminal cisternae with the displacement of the triads. Areas of narrowing, splitting and loss of myofibrils were seen. Zones of complete disorganization of miofibrils could be occasionally observed. Mitochondria were generally normal. Peculiar tubular aggregates seen commonly in periodic paralysis and other human pathological conditions, were encountered in both control and alcoholic mice. Intramuscular nerves and neuromuscular junctions were normal. Important abnormalities in muscle capillaries were observed, consisting of swelling of endothelial cells and thickening of the basal lamina. A diffuse microvesicular lipid infiltration was seen in the cytoplasm of the hepatocytes which seems to be a further evidence of the toxic role played by ethanol. We concluded that prolonged ingestion of ethanol, representing 14.4% of total calories, produces in the gastrocnemius muscle of well-nourished C57BL10 mice a distinct spectrum of ultrastructural changes which reflects a direct toxic effect on the skeletal muscle. These alterations are similar to those described in human chronic alcoholic myopathy.

Palavras-chave : prolonged ethanol ingestion; C53BL10 mice; gastrocnemius muscle; ultrastructural changes.

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