Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Monkeys That Drink Heavily Develop Signs Of Liver Disease, Wake Forest Study Shows

Date:
July 5, 2002
Source:
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Summary:
Monkeys that choose to drink alcohol heavily develop early signs of alterations in the liver, according to research by a team of investigators from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (July 2, 2002) – Monkeys that choose to drink alcohol heavily develop early signs of alterations in the liver, according to research by a team of investigators from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Related Articles


The research, presented today at the annual meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in San Francisco, describes a chemical found in the urine of monkeys also found in human alcoholics, and liver biopsies that show development of "fatty liver" -- another common finding in heavily drinking people.

Carol C. Cunningham, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry said, "One of the unique features of using these monkeys as a model for alcoholic liver disease is that these monkeys self-administer alcohol."

Some of the monkeys choose to only take a small amount of alcohol -- paralleling the social drinkers; some consume a moderate amount -- "like regular drinkers who are not in jeopardy of developing alcoholic liver disease," and some are heavy drinkers, who become intoxicated, most prone to changes in the liver.

"In some respects, this group of monkeys mimic the human situation," he said, except "we don't have any monkeys that don't drink any (alcohol) -- they all drink something."

First, Cunningham and his colleagues in the Center for the Neurobehavioral Study of Alcohol found evidence in the urine of "oxidative damage" to the liver. He explained that the metabolism of alcohol in the liver generates "reactive oxygen" which can damage liver tissue. To track that, they chose to follow damage to lipids, since cell structure is influenced by lipids.

The damaged liver produces isoprostanes in the urine -- tiny pieces of oxidized lipids. "There is a dramatic increase in the level of these lipid products in heavy drinkers," Cunningham

said. There are some isoprostanes in the urine of moderately drinking monkeys and only low amounts in the light drinkers.

Second, biopsies of the livers of the heavily drinking monkeys found evidence of "fatty liver." He said, "That is very characteristic of what one sees in alcoholics."

This is still a reversible stage of alcoholic liver disease.

He said he has seen no evidence so far of cirrhosis of the liver. But in some more recent biopsies, Cunningham and his colleagues noted some evidence of increased collagen staining within the liver tissue, perhaps pointing to the development of collagen fibrosis. He said the researchers were continuing to take biopsies regularly to see if fibrosis or liver inflammation develop.

Cunningham said that one of his goals in the study was to develop diagnostic procedures that are similar to those used in the clinic for humans. "Can we follow the progression of this disease in monkeys by looking at blood samples, urine samples and needle biopsies?"

"The animal model may be very useful in understanding alcoholism," said Cunningham. "We've worked out some procedures that allow us to analyze during the periods they are on the ethanol (alcohol.) We can carry out these studies indefinitely."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Monkeys That Drink Heavily Develop Signs Of Liver Disease, Wake Forest Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 July 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020705091637.htm>.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. (2002, July 5). Monkeys That Drink Heavily Develop Signs Of Liver Disease, Wake Forest Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020705091637.htm
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Monkeys That Drink Heavily Develop Signs Of Liver Disease, Wake Forest Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/07/020705091637.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins