4-Hydroxynonenal detoxification by mitochondrial glutathione S-transferase is compromised by short-term ethanol consumption in rats

Juanjuan Chen, Steven Schenker, George I. Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: 4-Hydroxynonenal (HNE), a toxic lipid peroxidation product, has been implicated in mitochondrial damage in rat liver by ethanol consumption. The present study assessed the effects of short-term in vivo ethanol exposure on HNE detoxification by mitochondrial glutathione S-transferase (GST). Methods: Male Sprague Dawley® rats were administered 5 doses of ethanol (4 g/kg) at 12 hr intervals by gavage. Pair-fed rats that received isocaloric dextrose instead of ethanol served as controls. Mitochondrial and submitochondrial fractions were prepared from the livers. Mitochondrial contents of HNE and HNE-glutathione conjugate were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. GST isoforms were identified by Western blots in submitochondrial fractions. Results: Whereas there was an 80% increase in mitochondrial HNE content after ethanol consumption, there was a 42% decrease in the content of HNE-glutathione conjugate, compared with controls (p < 0.05). After ethanol exposure, the GST activities toward HNE in intact mitochondria and in the membranous fraction were decreased by 37% and 45% (p < 0.05), respectively, whereas that in the aqueous fraction was unchanged. Kinetic analysis of HNE conjugation by the membrane-associated GST showed that ethanol decreased the Vmax nearly by half (p < 0.05), whereas it did not affect the Km. HNE conjugation by the aqueous GST demonstrated a higher Km than that of the membrane-associated GST, although its kinetics were not significantly altered by ethanol. Immunochemical analysis with Western blots demonstrated that both the membranous and the aqueous fractions of mitochondria contain GST-α and GST-μ isoforms, whereas GST-π was absent. Conclusions: HNE detoxification by mitochondrial GST is compromised by short-term ethanol consumption, which may contribute to elevated mitochondrial HNE content and hence its toxicity in the ethanol-exposed liver.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1252-1258
Number of pages7
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • 4-Hydroxynonenal
  • Ethanol
  • Glutathione S-transferase
  • Isozyme
  • Mitochondria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of '4-Hydroxynonenal detoxification by mitochondrial glutathione S-transferase is compromised by short-term ethanol consumption in rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this