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Alcohol Pattern Consumption Differently Affects the Efficiency of Macrophage Reverse Cholesterol Transport in Vivo

Biopharmanet-Tec Center, Università di Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 27/A, 43124 Parma, Italy
Dipartimento di Scienze degli Alimenti e del Farmaco, Università di Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 27/A, 43124 Parma, Italy
Servizio di Medicina Preventiva dei Lavoratori, Università of Parma, Via Gramsci, 14, 43126 Parma, Italy
Dipartimento di Medicina e Chirurgia-Unità di Neuroscienze, Università of Parma, via Volturno 39/F, 43125 Parma, Italy
Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, via Campi 103, 41125 Modena, Italy
Nutrition Foundation of Italy, Viale Tunisia 38, 20124 Milano, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this paper.
Nutrients 2018, 10(12), 1885;
Received: 17 October 2018 / Revised: 23 November 2018 / Accepted: 26 November 2018 / Published: 3 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrients and Atherosclerosis)
PDF [1491 KB, uploaded 3 December 2018]


It has been well established that moderate alcohol consumption inversely correlates with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, whereas binge alcohol drinking increases cardiovascular disease risk. The aim of this study was to assess in vivo the impact of different drinking patterns on reverse cholesterol transport (RCT); the atheroprotective process leading to the removal of excess cholesterol from the body. RCT was measured with a standardized, radioisotope-based technique in three groups of atherosclerosis-prone apolipoprotein E knock out mice: Placebo group, receiving water, which would mimic the abstainers; moderate group, receiving 0.8 g/kg alcohol/day for 28 days, which would mimic a moderate intake; binge group, receiving 0.8 g/kg alcohol/day for 5 days/week, followed by the administration of 2.8 g/kg alcohol/day for 2 days/week, which would mimic a heavy intake in a short period. Mice in the binge drinking group displayed an increase in total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) and non-HDL-c (all p < 0.0001 vs. placebo), and a significantly reduced elimination of fecal cholesterol. The moderate consumption did not lead to any changes in circulating lipids, but slightly improved cholesterol mobilization along the RCT pathway. Overall, our data confirm the importance of considering not only the total amount, but also the different consumption patterns to define the impact of alcohol on cardiovascular risk. View Full-Text
Keywords: alcohol; binge; reverse cholesterol transport; macrophages alcohol; binge; reverse cholesterol transport; macrophages

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Greco, D.; Battista, S.; Mele, L.; Piemontese, A.; Papotti, B.; Cavazzini, S.; Potì, F.; Di Rocco, G.; Poli, A.; Bernini, F.; Zanotti, I. Alcohol Pattern Consumption Differently Affects the Efficiency of Macrophage Reverse Cholesterol Transport in Vivo. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1885.

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