Adaptive changes in cerebral blood flow and oxygen consumption during ethanol intoxication in the rat

Acta Physiologica Scandinavica
R Hemmingsen, D I Barry


Cerebral blood flow (CBF) and oxygen consumption (CMRO2) were measured during acute and long-term ethanol intoxication in the rat. The purpose was to investigate whether the adaptive changes (development of tolerance) occurring in the CNS during ethanol intoxication were associated with changes in CBF and/or CMRO2. Consistent with other studies we found that acute severe ethanol intoxication (median blood alcohol concentration (BAC = 5.4 mg/ml)) caused a significant decrease in CBF and CMRO2. After 3-4 days of severe intoxication (BAC of 6.6 mg/ml) these physiological variables were less affected indicating that functional tolerance had developed: CMRO2 and CBF during acute ethanol intoxication were 9.3 ml/100 g/min and 60 ml/100 g/min respectively; after the long term intoxication period these variables reached 11.2 ml/100 g/min and 78 ml/100 g/min respectively, i.e. values not significantly lower than those of the control group. After induction of hypercapnia (PaCO2 about 80 mmHg) CBF increased by 360% in the control group; in the acutely intoxicated group CBF increased by only 127% and in the long term intoxicated group by 203% indicating that the cerebrovascular CO2-reactivity had also adapted to the ethanol intoxication. I...Continue Reading


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