Prolonged ethanol administration depletes mitochondrial DNA in MnSOD-overexpressing transgenic mice, but not in their wild type littermates

Isabelle Larosche, Amal Choumar, Bernard Fromenty, Philippe Lettéron, Adjé Abbey-Toby, Holly Van Remmen, Charles J. Epstein, Arlan Richardson, Gérard Feldmann, Dominique Pessayre, Abdellah Mansouri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Alcohol consumption increases reactive oxygen species formation and lipid peroxidation, whose products can damage mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and alter mitochondrial function. A possible role of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) on these effects has not been investigated. To test whether MnSOD overexpression modulates alcohol-induced mitochondrial alterations, we added ethanol to the drinking water of transgenic MnSOD-overexpressing (TgMnSOD) mice and their wild type (WT) littermates for 7 weeks. In TgMnSOD mice, alcohol administration further increased the activity of MnSOD, but decreased cytosolic glutathione as well as cytosolic glutathione peroxidase activity and peroxisomal catalase activity. Whereas ethanol increased cytochrome P-450 2E1 and mitochondrial ROS generation in both WT and TgMnSOD mice, hepatic iron, lipid peroxidation products and respiratory complex I protein carbonyls were only increased in ethanol-treated TgMnSOD mice but not in WT mice. In ethanol-fed TgMnSOD mice, but not ethanol-fed WT mice, mtDNA was depleted, and mtDNA lesions blocked the progress of polymerases. The iron chelator, DFO prevented hepatic iron accumulation, lipid peroxidation, protein carbonyl formation and mtDNA depletion in alcohol-treated TgMnSOD mice. Alcohol markedly decreased the activities of complexes I, IV and V of the respiratory chain in TgMnSOD, with absent or lesser effects in WT mice. There was no inflammation, apoptosis or necrosis, and steatosis was similar in ethanol-treated WT and TgMnSOD mice. In conclusion, prolonged alcohol administration selectively triggers iron accumulation, lipid peroxidation, respiratory complex I protein carbonylation, mtDNA lesions blocking the progress of polymerases, mtDNA depletion and respiratory complex dysfunction in TgMnSOD mice but not in WT mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-338
Number of pages13
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009


  • Alcohol
  • Liver
  • Manganese superoxide dismutase
  • Mitochondria
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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