Ethanol and Cardiac Protein Synthesis

  • Sidney S. Schreiber
  • Carole D. Evans
  • Murray Oratz
  • Marcus A. Rothschild
Part of the Advances in Myocardiology book series (ADMY)


Acute exposure of the heart to ethanol does not appear to alter the rate of young guinea pig cardiac protein synthesis when assayed in vitro. In contrast, the primary metabolite of ethanol, acetaldehyde, markedly diminishes synthesis despite its chronotropic and inotropic effects. On the other hand, after 11–13 weeks of ethanol-drinking during growth and maturation, the synthetic capacity of the working right ventricle was decreased when measured in vitro with normal perfusate. Assay of synthesis of the contractile proteins myosin heavy and light chains, actin and tropomyosin suggests a change in synthesis or pool size of actin reflected in an alteration of relative synthesis of this protein compared to that of heavy chains. The relative synthesis of the other proteins remained at control levels. When hearts from ethanol-drinking and matched control animals were perfused under conditions of severe ischemia, there was a profound fall in protein synthesis in all hearts, and ethanol did not enhance the inhibition of synthesis. However, the hearts from ethanol-drinking animals showed a more marked and significant impairment of maintaining ejection pressure with a marked increase in coronary resistance as the perfusion progressed. It is postulated that some impairment of protein metabolism may occur during prolonged ethanol exposure, which may influence the cardiac response of another induced stress, e.g., ischemia.


Right Ventricle Coronary Flow Label Amino Acid Ventricular Systolic Pressure Precursor Pool 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sidney S. Schreiber
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carole D. Evans
    • 1
    • 2
  • Murray Oratz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marcus A. Rothschild
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear MedicineVeterans Administration Medical CenterUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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