The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 250, Issue 2, pp 195–204 | Cite as

Spectroscopic, Polarographic, and Microcalorimetric Studies on Mitochondrial Dysfunction Induced by Ethanol

  • Long Ma
  • Jia-Xin DongEmail author
  • Can Wu
  • Xue-Yi Li
  • Jing Chen
  • Hong Zhang
  • Yi LiuEmail author


Liver mitochondria are involved in several important life processes; mitochondrial dysfunction and disorders are implicated in several human diseases. Alcohol permeates all tissues of the body and exerts some intrinsic hepatotoxicity. In this work, our results demonstrated that ethanol caused a series of mitochondria permeability transition pore (MPTP) opening factors such as mitochondrial swelling, increased permeability of H+ and K+, collapsed membrane potential, and increased membrane fluidity. Furthermore, mitochondrial ultrastructure alternation observed clearly by transmission electron microscopy and the release of Cytochrome c could explain the MPTP opening from another aspect. Moreover, ethanol damaged the mitochondrial respiration system and induced disturbance of mitochondrial energy metabolism which was monitored by polarographic and microcalorimetric methods, respectively. Considered together, these damages may promote both apoptotic and necrotic cell death and contribute to the onset or progression alcohol-induced liver diseases.


Ethanol Mitochondria Membrane permeability transition Ultrastructure Microcalorimetry 



We gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21463008); Guangxi Natural Science Foundation Program (No. 2012GXNSFBA053119); and the Foundation of State Key Laboratory for the Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of Medicinal Resources (CMEMR2012 -A10).

Supplementary material

232_2017_9947_MOESM1_ESM.docx (85 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 85 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.StateKey Laboratory for the Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of Medicinal Resources, School of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical SciencesGuangxi Normal UniversityGuilinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Virology & Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Biology and Medicine (MOE), College of Chemistry and Molecular SciencesWuhan UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of Life ScienceGuangxi Normal UniversityGuilinPeople’s Republic of China

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