AbstractMale Golden Syrian hamsters at 1 year of age were given a basal diet and either distilled water or 10% absolute ethanol in distilled water to drink for 1 year in order to determine the influence of prolonged ethanol intake on tissue long chain fatty acid, lipid composition and erythrocyte hemolysis in response to osmotic stress. Total lipids were extracted from liver, heart, plasma and erythrocytes. Individual lipid fractions were quantitated and the percentage fatty acid composition of the lipid fractions analyzed by gas-liquid chromatography. Although no significant changes in tissue lipid content or erythrocyte hemolysis were attributable to ethanol intake, fatty acid changes were marked in the ethanol-fed hamsters. The primary fatty acid changes were increased oleic acid (40-50%) and decreased linoleic acid (25- 60%) which were observed in all tissues. Arachidonic acid was decreased only in triacylglycerol fractions. The results suggest that in the hamster long-term voluntary ethanol intake alters specific long chain fatty acids, but that erythrocyte membrane integrity and tissue lipid composition were not compromised.
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