Chronic alcohol intake in male rats results in: 1) demasculinization of the GH pulse pattern; 2) reduced serum testosterone concentrations; and 3) decreased expression hepatic CYP2C11. Hepatic CYP2C11 expression is regulated by the male pattern of GH through the Janus-kinase/signal transducer and activators of transcription proteins (JAK/STAT) signal transduction pathway in the male rat. Renal CYP2C11 is regulated by testosterone, not GH. The involvement of the JAK/STAT5b signal transduction pathway in renal CYP2C11 signaling has not been studied. We tested the hypothesis that ethanol reduces CYP2C11 levels by interfering with the JAK/STAT5b pathway. Using a total enteral nutrition (TEN) model to feed rats a well-balanced diet, we have studied the effects of chronic ethanol intake (21 d) on hepatic and renal JAK/STAT pathway of adult male rats (8-10/group). We found decreased hepatic and renal expression of CYP2C11 in ethanol-fed rats with concomitant decreases in STAT5b and phospho-STAT5b, decreased in vitro hepatic STAT5b binding to a CYP2C11 promoter element and no effects on hepatic GHR levels. Ethanol caused tissue specific effects in phospho-JAK2 and JAK2, with increased levels in the liver, but decreased JAK2 expression in the kidney. We conclude that ethanol suppression of CYP2C11 expression is clearly associated with reductions in STAT5b levels, but not necessarily in reductions of JAK2 levels. The mechanisms underlying ethanolinduced suppression of STAT5b is yet to be determined, as is the question of whether this is secondary to hormonal effects or a direct ethanol effect.
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