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Catabolism of salivary glycoconjugates in acute ethanol intoxication

Napoleon Waszkiewicz, Sławomir D Szajda, Anna Jankowska, Magdalena Waszkiewicz, Alina Kepka, Beata Konarzewska, Agata Szulc, Jadwiga Snarska, Krzysztof Zwierz

Med Sci Monit 2009; 15(8): CR413-417

ID: 878140


Background: The aim was to study the effects of a single large dose of ethanol (approximately 2.0 g/kg of body weight, as 40% vodka) on the specific activities of alpha-mannosidase, alpha-fucosidase, beta-glucuronidase, and beta-galactosidase as well as on the total protein concentration in saliva in eight healthy young volunteers.
Material and Method: Resting whole saliva samples were collected 12 hours prior to and 36 and 108 hours after alcohol consumption. Exoglycosidase activities were assayed in the supernatants by the colorimetric method. Protein content was determined by the Lowry method.
Results: Thirty-six hours after alcohol consumption the specific activities of alpha-fucosidase and beta-glucuronidase were significantly higher than before drinking. The specific activity of beta-galactosidase showed a greater tendency to increase than alpha-mannosidase after the drinking session. The total protein concentration was significantly lower after alcohol consumption than at baseline, even at 108 hr. Significant inverse correlations between total protein content and the specific activities of the exoglycosidases in saliva were found after the drinking session.
Conclusions: Acute ingestion of a large dose of ethanol increased the activity of salivary exoglycosidases, which might be followed by subsequent degradation of proteins in saliva. The observed changes might contribute to salivary defense system malfunction as well as to oral malodor production.

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