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Despite recent evidence of the beneficial effects of moderate alcohol consumption in arteriosclerosis prevention, the neurotoxic effects of alcohol abuse are well known. Our hypothesis was that uncontrolled alcohol consumption may cause cerebrovascular damage detectable by rheoencepholography (REG), a noninvasive bio-impedance technique for estimating cerebral blood flow. Test subjects were 48 alcoholic patients in Hungary; the control group consisted of 12 drug-addicted and depressed patients in Hungary and 13 healthy male subjects in the United States. Additional subgroups were formed according to smoking habits and average daily alcohol dose. REG was measured by a computer-based system, “Cerberus”; REG anacrotic time above 180 ms was considered pathological. ANOVA showed that daily alcohol consumption and smoking were significantly higher in alcoholics than in drug-addicted and depressed patients. Twelve alcoholics showed a pathological REG anacrotic time. Longer REG anacrotic time was correlated with higher daily alcohol consumption. In the alcoholic group, the steeper regression line of REG slope reflected the pathological impact of alcohol abuse. The healthy control sample showed a nearly identical slope for both REG and age. The correlation of increased REG anacrotic time and daily alcohol consumption supports the hypothesis that REG detects accelerated cerebrovascular aging (arteriosclerosis) in alcoholic subjects.

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Acta Physiologica Hungarica
Authors:
Krisztina Rusai
,
A. Prokai
,
C. Juanxing
,
K. Meszaros
,
B. Szalay
,
K. Pásti
,
V. Müller
,
U. Heemann
,
J. Lutz
,
T. Tulassay
, and
A. Szabo

Previous experimental data suggest that steroids might have protective effects during hypoxic/ischemic injury of various organs. In this study, the association between dexamethason (Dexa) treatment and the anti-apoptotic SGK-1 was tested in ischemic renal injury. In vitro, HK-2 cells were exposed to 24 h hypoxia, and the effect of Dexa incubation on SGK-1 expression / activation and on cell death was studied. In an in vivo rat model of unilateral renal IR, animals were treated with Dexa, and serum renal function parameters, tissue injury and SGK-1 expression and localization were examined after different reperfusion times (2 h, 4 h and 24 h). Dexa at a dose of 2 mg/L exerted a protective effect on cell survival assessed by LDH release and vital staining paralleled by marked up-regulation of SGK-1. In rats, 2 mg/kg Dexa treatment 24 h prior to ischemia resulted in less severe tissue injury and ameliorated urea nitrogen levels 24 h after reperfusion. Furthermore, SGK-1 expression and phosphorylation were higher in Dexa animals demonstrated by Western blot and immunofluorescence technique. Our results provide novel data on the signalling mechanism of Dexa under hypoxia / ischemia and further support that Dexa emerges as an attractive pharmacological agent for the prevention of ischemic injury.

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