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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Changes in serum enzymes in moderate drinkers after an alcohol challenge.

When 14 "moderate" drinkers abstained from alcohol for four weeks, the activity of gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT; EC in their serum showed a large decrease. Immediately after the period of abstention, an orally given ethanol challenge of 1 g/kg produced a marked increase in serum GGT at 24 h, followed by a slow decline thereafter. Aspartate amino-transferase activity in serum was significantly increased at 24 h; however, alkaline phosphate, alanine aminotransferase, and lactate dehydrogenase showed much smaller or no changes. An abnormal increase in lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme 5 was observed in seven subjects. In some of the moderate drinkers, liver biopsies showed mild chronic hepatitis or nonspecific changes. Eight nondrinking controls showed only slight increases in serum GGT following the same alcohol challenge; results for the other enzyme tests were unchanged. We consider it probable that pre-existing liver disease affects the response to ethanol, so that greater amounts of GGT are released from hepatic tissue; alternatively, drinkers may have a higher GGT activity in this tissue as a result of enzyme induction by ethanol. The alcohol challenge test was an effective discriminator between moderate drinkers and abstainers.[1]


  1. Changes in serum enzymes in moderate drinkers after an alcohol challenge. Nemesánszky, E., Lott, J.A., Arato, M. Clin. Chem. (1988) [Pubmed]
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