Comparison of the agar block and Lieber-DeCarli diets to study chronic alcohol consumption in an aging model of Fischer 344 female rats

Daniel R. Sharda, Jennifer L. Miller-Lee, Gregory M. Kanski, J. Craig Hunter, Charles H. Lang, Mary J. Kennett, Donna H. Korzick

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8 Scopus citations


Introduction: Post-menopausal women have a greater risk of developing alcoholic complications compared to age-matched men. Unfortunately, animal models of chronic ethanol consumption with estrogen deficiency are lacking. Here, we characterize the ability of the agar block and Lieber-DeCarli models of chronic ethanol consumption to produce elevated blood alcohol content (BAC) and liver pathology in the F344 postmenopausal animal model of aging. Methods: Adult (3 mo) and aged (18 mo) F344 ovary-intact or ovariectomized rats were administered ethanol for 14-20 weeks as follows: diet 1, standard chow access, 10% ethanol in drinking water, and 40% ethanol in agar blocks; diet 2, diet 1 plus low phytoestrogen chow (known to affect ethanol metabolism) for the final 4 weeks; diet 3, Lieber-DeCarli all liquid diet with 36% kcal ethanol. Control animals were matched isocalorically with dextrin. Results: For the agar block diet, average BAC was 13±4 mg/dL across groups. BAC was unaffected by reducing dietary phytoestrogen content (12±4 mg/dL), which is known to interfere with ethanol metabolism. Liver pathology was unaffected by the agar block diet. In contrast, the Lieber-DeCarli diet resulted in BAC of 45±5 mg/dL in conjunction with more severe hepatopathology. Discussion: We conclude that the Lieber-DeCarli diet produces greater BAC and hepatopathology to study the effects of chronic ethanol administration in the F344 postmenopausal rodent model of aging when compared to an ethanol agar block diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-263
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology

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