Devastating effects of exposure to alcohol and tobaccosmoke on health are extensively reported in the literature. However, few studies have attempted to elucidate the consequences of their combined use on the central nervous system.
Here we studied the effect of this combineduse on some oxidative, inflammatory, and neurotrophicparameters in the hippocampus, striatum, and frontal cortex of rats. Adult Wistar ratswere allocated into control (CT), alcohol (AL), tobaccosmoke (TB), or combined (ALTB) groups. Rats were exposed to environmental air (CT and AL groups) or to the smoke from six cigarettes (TB and ALTB groups) immediately after tap water (CT and TB) or 2 g of alcohol/kg (AL and ALTB) oral gavage administration, twice a day, for 4 weeks. On day 28, rats were euthanized and areas of the brain were dissected to evaluate some cellular redox parameters, pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels.
A one-way analysis of variance showed that the ALTB combined treatment significantly increased oxidative stress levels in the hippocampus. ALTB also increased interleukin-1β levels in the striatum and frontal cortex and tumoral necrosis factor-α levels in the frontal cortex compared with those of AL, TB, and CT rats. Combined treatment also decreased the BDNF levels in the frontal cortex of rats. Oxidative damage was found, more importantly, in the hippocampus, and inflammatoryparameters were extended to all areas of the brain that were studied.
Our results showed an interaction between alcohol and tobaccosmoke according to the area of the brain, suggesting an additional risk of neural damage in alcoholics who smoke.
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