Alcohol oxidizing enzymes and ethanol-induced cytotoxicity in rat pancreatic acinar AR42J cells

Kamlesh K. Bhopale, Miriam Falzon, G. A.S. Ansari, Bhupendra S. Kaphalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Alcoholic chronic pancreatitis (ACP) is a serious inflammatory disease causing significant morbidity and mortality. Due to lack of a suitable animal model, the underlying mechanism of ACP is poorly understood. Chronic alcohol abuse inhibits alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and facilitates nonoxidative metabolism of ethanol to fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs) in the pancreas frequently damaged during chronic ethanol abuse. Earlier, we reported a concentration-dependent formation of FAEEs and cytotoxicity in ethanol-treated rat pancreatic tumor (AR42J) cells, which express high FAEE synthase activity as compared to ADH and cytochrome P450 2E1. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to investigate the role of various ethanol oxidizing enzymes in ethanol-induced pancreatic acinar cell injury. Confluent AR42J cells were pre-treated with inhibitors of ADH class I and II [4-methylpyrazole (MP)] or class I, II, and III [1,10-phenanthroline (PT)], cytochrome P450 2E1 (trans-1,2-dichloroethylene) or catalase (sodium azide) followed by incubation with 800 mg% ethanol at 37°C for 6 h. Ethanol metabolism, cell viability, cytotoxicity (apoptosis and necrosis), cell proliferation status, and formation of FAEEs in AR42J cells were measured. The cell viability and cell proliferation rate were significantly reduced in cells pretreated with 1,10-PT + ethanol followed by those with 4-MP + ethanol. In situ formation of FAEEs was twofold greater in cells incubated with 1,10-PT + ethanol and ∼1.5-fold in those treated with 4-MP + ethanol vs. respective controls. However, cells treated with inhibitors of cytochrome P450 2E1 or catalase in combination of ethanol showed no significant changes either for FAEE formation, cell death or proliferation rate. Therefore, an impaired ADH class I-III catalyzed oxidation of ethanol appears to be a key contributing factor in ethanol-induced pancreatic injury via formation of nonoxidative metabolites of ethanol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
JournalIn Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • AR42J cells
  • Alcohol dehydrogenase
  • Cytochrome P450 2E1
  • Ethanol
  • Fatty acid ethyl esters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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