Chronic alcohol ingestion enhances tumor necrosis factor-α expression and salivary gland apoptosis

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We investigated the extent of induction in sublingual salivary gland cells apoptosis and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) expression with chronic ethanol ingestion. The experiments were conducted on rats pair-fed for 8 weeks with alcohol-containing and control liquid diet. The animals were killed, their sublingual glands dissected, and the glandular tissue used for quantitization of TNF-α expression and the assays of acinar cells apoptosis employing sandwich enzyme immunoassay for histone-associated DNA fragments. The mean value for TNF-α in sublingual gland of the control group was 22.3 pg/mg of protein and showed a 1.6-fold increase in the chronic ethanol diet group to 36.5 pg/mg of protein. In comparison with the controls, the sublingual gland of the chronic ethanol diet group also exhibited s 3.4-fold enhancement in acinar cell apoptosis. These findings suggest that chronic ethanol ingestion causes the enhancement in TNF-α expression and leads to the induction in salivary gland acinar cells apoptosis. Thus, the diminished secretion of saliva in alcoholics may be a direct result of increased salivary gland apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1530-1533
Number of pages4
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • Alcoholism
  • Apoptosis
  • Induction
  • Salivary Glands
  • TNF-α

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