Chronic ethanol feeding selectively impairs the translocation of cytosol GSH into the mitochondrial matrix. Since ethanol-induced liver cell injury is preferentially localized in the centrilobular area, we examined the hepatic acinar distribution of mitochondrial GSH transport in ethanol-fed rats. Enriched periportal (PP) and perivenous (PV) hepatocytes from pair- and ethanol-fed rats were prepared as well as mitochondria from these cells. The mitochondrial pool size of GSH was decreased in both PP and PV cells from ethanol-fed rats either as expressed per 10(6) cells or per microliter of mitochondrial matrix volume. The rate of reaccumulation of mitochondrial GSH and the linear relationship of mitochondrial to cytosol GSH from ethanol-fed mitochondria were lower for both PP and PV cells, effects observed more prominently in the PV cells. Mitochondrial functional integrity was lower in both PP and PV ethanol-fed rats, which was associated with decreased cellular ATP levels and mitochondrial membrane potential, effects which were greater in the PV cells. Mitochondrial GSH depletion by ethanol feeding preceded the onset of functional changes in mitochondria, suggesting that mitochondrial GSH is critical in maintaining a functionally competent organelle and that the greater depletion of mitochondrial GSH by ethanol feeding in PV cells could contribute to the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease.
C García-Ruiz, A Morales, A Ballesta, J Rodés, N Kaplowitz, J C Fernández-Checa