Alcoholism pp 71-75 | Cite as

Acetaldehyde Adducts and Excessive Alcohol Consumption

  • Onni Niemelä
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 206)


Acetaldehyde, a product of ethanol metabolism, has been implicated in a number of adverse effects of ethanol (Lieber, 1988). A major reason for acetaldehyde toxicity may be its ability to form covalent adducts with various proteins and cell constituents. The primary site of acetaldehyde adduct formation should be the liver, where it is believed to inhibit microtubule assembly, decrease enzyme activities and increase protein catabolism (Sorrell and Tuma, 1987; Lieber, 1988). Recent findings indicating that acetaldehyde binding with proteins can also trigger immune responses have provided the basis for antibody-based detection of acetaldehyde condensates as biological markers of excessive alcohol consumption (Israel et al., 1986, 1988; Lin et al., 1988). The present contribution summarizes recent studies on the formation of acetaldehyde-protein adducts as a result of alcohol consumption and suggests a possible association of adduct formation with hepatic fibrogenesis. For more detailed accounts and references on the immunological and functional aspects of acetaldehyde-protein binding the reader is referred to Israel et al. (1988) and Sorrell and Tuma (1987), respectively. Acetaldehyde-promoted fibrogenesis has been discussed in greater depth by Lieber (1988).


Alcoholic Liver Disease Adduct Formation Ethanol Consumption Ethanol Ingestion Excessive Alcohol Consumption 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Onni Niemelä
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical ChemistryUniversity of OuluOuluFinland

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