Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology
Digestive System Diseases | Gastroenterology | Hepatology | Substance Abuse and Addiction
Binge drinking, the most common form of alcohol consumption, is associated with increased mortality and morbidity; yet, its biological consequences are poorly defined. Previous studies demonstrated that chronic alcohol use results in increased gut permeability and increased serum endotoxin levels that contribute to many of the biological effects of chronic alcohol, including alcoholic liver disease. In this study, we evaluated the effects of acute binge drinking in healthy adults on serum endotoxin levels. We found that acute alcohol binge resulted in a rapid increase in serum endotoxin and 16S rDNA, a marker of bacterial translocation from the gut. Compared to men, women had higher blood alcohol and circulating endotoxin levels. In addition, alcohol binge caused a prolonged increase in acute phase protein levels in the systemic circulation. The biological significance of the in vivo endotoxin elevation was underscored by increased levels of inflammatory cytokines, TNFalpha and IL-6, and chemokine, MCP-1, measured in total blood after in vitro lipopolysaccharide stimulation. Our findings indicate that even a single alcohol binge results in increased serum endotoxin levels likely due to translocation of gut bacterial products and disturbs innate immune responses that can contribute to the deleterious effects of binge drinking.
Rights and Permissions
Copyright: © 2014 Bala et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
DOI of Published Version
PLoS One. 2014 May 14;9(5):e96864. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0096864 Link to article on publisher's site
Bala S, Marcos M, Gattu A, Catalano D, Szabo G. (2014). Acute binge drinking increases serum endotoxin and bacterial DNA levels in healthy individuals. Gastroenterology Publications. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0096864. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/gastroenterology_pp/133