Effect of ethanol feeding on hepatic lysosomes in the monkey

E. Mezey, J. J. Potter, R. J. Slusser, D. Brandes, J. Romero, T. Tamura, C. H. Halsted

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The effect of chronic ethanol feeding on the hepatic localization of lysosomes and on the activity of hepatic lysosomal enzymes was studied in the monkey. Four monkeys of the species Macaca radiata received a diet containing 50 per cent of the calories as ethanol, while another four were pair-fed a diet in which ethanol was isocalorically substituted by carbohydrate. Liver biopsies were obtained at 3, 12, and 24 months after initiation of the diets. Hepatic histochemistry of acid phosphatase by light microscopy in the ethanol-fed monkeys demonstrated a diffuse parenchymal distribution of the enzyme which was localized in hepatocellular lysosomes by electron microscopy. By contrast, acid phosphatase in control monkeys was localized almost exclusively in lysosomes in the Kupffer cells. These changes in lysosomal distribution were noted after 3 months of ethanol feeding and persisted at 24 months. The total hepatic activities of acid-phosphatase, β-glucuronidase, and arylsulfatase measured in the presence of 0.2 per cent Triton X-100 were not changed after the various periods of ethanol feeding. A transient increase in the activity of β-N-acetylglucosaminidase was found after 12 months of ethanol feeding. The increased appearance of lysosomes in the hepatic parenchyma is compatible with increased catabolism of components of the liver cells and represents an early indication of alcohol-induced liver injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-93
Number of pages6
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 6 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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