Polyenylphosphatidylcholine attenuates alcohol-induced fatty liver and hyperlipemia in rats

K P Navder, E Baraona, C S Lieber
Journal of Nutrition 1997, 127 (9): 1800-6
Chronic administration of a soybean-derived polyenylphosphatidylcholine (PPC) extract prevents the development of cirrhosis in alcohol-fed baboons. To assess whether this phospholipid also affects earlier changes induced by alcohol consumption (such as fatty liver and hyperlipemia), 28 male rat littermates were pair-fed liquid diets containing 36% of energy either as ethanol or as additional carbohydrate for 21 d, and killed 90 min after intragastric administration of the corresponding diets. Half of the rats were given PPC (3 g/l), whereas the other half received the same amount of linoleate (as safflower oil) and choline (as bitartrate salt). PPC did not affect diet or alcohol consumption [15.4 +/- 0.5 G/(kg.d)], but the ethanol-induced hepatomegaly and the hepatic accumulation of lipids (principally triglycerides and cholesterol esters) and proteins were about half those in rats not given PPC. The ethanol-induced postprandial hyperlipemia was lower with PPC than without, despite an enhanced fat absorption and no difference in the level of plasma free fatty acids. The attenuation of fatty liver and hyperlipemia was associated with correction of the ethanol-induced inhibition of mitochondrial oxidation of palmitoyl-1-carnitine and the depression of cytochrome oxidase activity, as well as the increases in activity of serum glutamate dehydrogenase and aminotransferases. Thus, PPC attenuates early manifestations of alcohol toxicity, at least in part, by improving mitochondrial injury. These beneficial effects of PPC at the initial stages of alcoholic liver injury may prevent or delay the progression to more advanced forms of alcoholic liver disease.

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