[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
May 1985

The Effect of Alcohol Intoxication on Inflammation of the Cornea

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Ophthalmology (Drs Leibowitz and Kupferman and Mr Ryan) and Pharmacology (Dr Kupferman), and the Nutritional Pathology Unit, Department of Pathology (Dr Vitale), Boston University School of Medicine.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1985;103(5):723-725. doi:10.1001/archopht.1985.01050050115029
Abstract

• New Zealand albino rabbits received daily intraperitoneal injections of alcohol (ethyl alcohol), 1.6 g/kg and the effect of short-term (three days) and long-term (six weeks) administration on corneal inflammation was studied. Both regimens produced an average peak serum concentration of more than 0.200 g /dL, a level consistent with gross intoxication in the majority of humans. Clinical signs of intoxication were present in all animals, manifested by a gross disturbance of equilibrium and gait. Neither regimen produced measurable liver damage. Nonetheless, following both regimens of alcohol administration, significantly fewer polymorphonuclear leukocytes invaded the corneas of animals receiving alcohol than invaded the corneas of simultaneously run controls receiving intraperitoneal saline. These data provide a mechanism to explain why an alcoholic individual might not cope with a corneal infection as well as a nonalcoholic person, an observation long thought to be true clinically.

References
1.
Okamoto Y, Murayama T, Ogata M:  Effects of acute and chronic ethanol administration on amino acid metabolism in rabbit brain and blood . Folia Psychiatr Neurol Jpn 1979;33:111-121.
2.
Goldberg L, Stortebecker TP:  Criteria of alcohol intoxication in animals in relation to blood alcohol . Acta Physiol Scand 1941;3:71-81.Article
3.
Marr JJ, Spilberg I:  A mechanism for decreased resistance to infection by gram-negative organisms during acute alcoholic intoxication . J Lab Clin Med 1975;86:253-258.
4.
Buckley RM, Ventura ES, MacGregor RR:  Propranolol antagonizes the anti-inflammatory effect of alcohol and improves survival of infected intoxicated rabbits . J Clin Invest 1978; 62:554-559.Article
5.
The Ultraviolet Enzymatic Determination of Ethyl Alcohol in Blood, Serum, or Plasma , technical bulletin 331-UV. St Louis, Sigma Chemical Co, 1978.
6.
Leibowitz HM, Lass JH, Kupferman A:  Quantitation of inflammation in the cornea . Arch Ophthalmol 1974;92:427-430.Article
7.
Leibowitz HM, Kupferman A:  Anti-inflammatory effectiveness of topically administered prednisolone . Invest Ophthalmol 1974;13:757-763.
8.
Snedecor GW, Cochrane WG: Statistical Methods , ed 6. Ames, Iowa, State University Press, 1976.
9.
Osier W: Modern Medicine: Its Theory and Practice . Philadelphia, Lea & Febiger, 1927.
10.
Austrian R, Gold J:  Pneumococcal bacteremia with especial reference to bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia . Ann Intern Med 1964; 60:759-776.Article
11.
Osler W: Modern Medicine: Its Theory and Practice , ed 3, McCrae T (ed). Philadelphia, Lea & Febiger, 1935.
12.
Capps JA, Coleman GH:  Influence of alcohol on prognosis of pneumonia in Cook County Hospital: A statistical report . JAMA 1923;80:750-752.Article
13.
Koch R: Ueber die Cholerabakteren . Berlin, G Reimer, 1884.
14.
Pickrell KL:  The effect of alcohol intoxication and ether anesthesia on resistance to pneumococcal infection . Bull Johns Hopkins Hosp 1938;63:238-260.
15.
Doyen E:  Recherches anatomiques et expérimentales sur le choléra épidémique . Arch Physiol Norm Pathol 1885;6:179-236.
16.
Thomas W:  Ueber die erzeugung der cholera von der blutbahn aus die pradisponirende rolle des alkohols . Arch Exp Pathol Pharm 1893;32:38-48.Article
17.
Delearde A:  Contribution à l'étude de l'alcoolisme expérimental et de son influence sur l'immunité . Ann Inst Pasteur 1897;11:837-844.
18.
Rubin G:  Influence of alcohol, ether, and chloroform on natural immunity in its relation to leukocytosis and phagocytosis . J Infect Dis 1904;1:425-444.Article
19.
Valagussa F, Raneletti A:  La tossina difterica in rapporto alle condizioni dell'organismo . Ann Igiene Sperimentale 1899;9:118-135.
20.
Brayton RG, Stokes PE, Schwartz MS, et al:  Effect of alcohol and various diseases on leukocyte mobilization, phagocytosis, and intracellular bacterial killing . N Engl J Med 1970; 282:123-128.Article
21.
Spagnuolo PJ, MacGregor RR:  Acute ethanol effect on chemotaxis and other components of host defense . J Lab Clin Med 1975;86:24-31.
22.
Skeel RT, Yankee RA, Spwak WA, et al:  Leukocyte preservation: I. Phagocytic stimulation of hexose monophosphate shunt as a measure of cell viability . J Lab Clin Med 1969;73:327-337.
23.
MacGregor RR:  Granulocyte adherence changes induced by hemodialysis, endotoxin, epinephrine, and glucocorticoids . Ann Intern Med 1977;86:35-39.Article
24.
MacGregor RR, Spagnuolo PS, Lentnek AL:  Inhibition of granulocyte adherence by ethanol, prednisolone, and aspirin, measured with a new assay system . N Engl J Med 1974;291:642-646.Article
25.
Ritchie JM:  The aliphatic alcohols , in Gilman AG, Goodman LS, Gilman A: The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics , ed 6. New York, Macmillan Publishing Co Inc, 1980, pp 379-394.
26.
Shearer RJ (ed): Manual on Alcoholism . Chicago, American Medical Association, 1968, appendix p viii.
27.
Alcohol and the Impaired Driver . Chicago, American Medical Association, 1968.
28.
Freedman ML, Rosman J:  A rabbit reticulocyte model for the role of hemin-controlled repressor in hypochromic anemias . J Clin Invest 1976;57:594-603.Article
29.
Rothschild MA, Scheiber SS, Oratz M:  Alcohol inhibition of protein synthesis . Clin Toxicol 1975;8:349-357.Article
30.
Leevy CM, Chen T, Zetterman R:  Alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and immunologic reactivity . Ann NY Acad Sci 1975;252:106-115.Article
31.
Bernstein IM, Webster KH, Williams RC Jr, et al:  Reduction in circulating lymphocytes in alcoholic liver disease . Lancet 1974;2:488-490.Article
32.
Strauss B, Berenyi MA, Huang JM, et al:  Delayed hypersensitivity in alcoholic cirrhosis . Am J Dig Dis 1971;16:509-516.Article
×