Effects of ethanol administration on cerebral non-protein sulfhydryl content in rats exposed to styrene vapour

Teresa Coccini, Amalia Di Nucci, Marcello Tonini, Luciano Maestri, Lucio G. Costa, Maddalena Liuzzi, Luigi Manzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Glutathione (GSH) and other non-protein sulfhydryls (NPS) are known to protect cells from oxidative stress and from potentially toxic electrophiles formed by biotransformation of xenobiotics. This study examined the effect of a simultaneous administration of styrene and ethanol on NPS content and lipid peroxidation in rat liver and brain. Hepatic cytochrome P450 and cytochrome b5 content, aniline hydroxylase and aminopyrine N-demethylase activities as well as the two major urinary metabolites of styrene, mandelic and phenylglyoxylic acids were also measured. Groups of rats given ethanol for 3 weeks in a liquid diet were exposed, starting from the second week, to 326 ppm of styrene (6 h daily, 5 days a week, for 2 weeks). In control pair-fed animals, styrene produced about 30% depletion of brain NPS and 50% depletion of hepatic NPS. Subchronic ethanol treatment did not affect hepatic NPS levels, but caused 23% depletion of brain NPS. Concomitant administration of ethanol and styrene caused a NPS depletion in brain tissue in the order of 60%. These results suggest that in the rat, simultaneous exposure to ethanol and styrene may lead to considerable depletion of brain NPS. This effect is seen when both compounds are given on a subchronic basis, a situation which better resembles possible human exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-122
Number of pages8
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 8 1996


  • Brain
  • Ethanol
  • Glutathione
  • Styrene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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