Introduction: Alcohol-induced heart damage is associated with enzyme and protein alterations. The purpose of this study was to investigate alcohol-induced alterations in cardiac connexin 43 (Cx43) and angiotensin II (Ang II) after acute alcohol administration.
Method: Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into 2 groups: a control group and an ethanol group. The ethanol group intraperitoneally received 3.8 g/kg ethanol; the controls were given the same amount of saline via the same route. After the righting reflex disappeared, midsternotomy was performed in all animals. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to evaluate protein expression of Cx43 and Ang II. Sections were analyzed by digital image analysis.
Result: The expression of Cx43 was significantly reduced after acute ethanol treatment, with the integrated optical density lower when compared with control (P < 0.05). The expression of Ang II was significantly increased after acute ethanol treatment, supported by integrated optical density when compared with control (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: In summary, cardiac protein expression of Cx43 and Ang II were found to be significantly altered after acute ethanol treatment, suggesting that these 2 proteins may be important underlying mechanisms of vulnerability to oxidative injury in the heart during acute ethanol. The present study indicated that acute ethanol toxicity caused different alterations in heart proteins that would be related to oxidative stress.