Mouse Models and Metabolomics Tools to Investigate Alcohol Metabolism and Tissue Injury
The deleterious effects of alcohol are primarily mediated by its metabolic by-products. Ethanol metabolism by microsomal and mitochondrial systems generates reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and is associated with diminished glutathione and antioxidant enzymatic activity, all of which promote oxidative stress. In addition, the accumulation of ethanol-derived aldehydes and hydroxyethyl radicals serves to modify critical biological functions by forming adducts with proteins and DNA. The availability of animal models in which ethanol metabolism or antioxidant mechanisms are genetically modified facilitates investigation of the role these enzymes and oxidative stress play in diseases associated with ethanol consumption.
The goals of this project are to: A) maintain and develop unique transgenic knockouts that can be made available to the larger research community for the investigation of the pathogenesis of alcohol abuse and the mechanisms underlying the deleterious effects of alcohol, and B) offer metabolomics and tissue imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) expertise to facilitate investigation of the biochemical consequences of alcohol exposure and pathogenesis. Our overarching aim is to provide valuable transgenic animal models and metabolomics resources to the larger research community that will greatly enhance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying alcohol-induced disease and the pathophysiological effects of acute and chronic alcohol consumption. Our metabolomic platforms will offer state-of-the-art techniques to dissect the molecular mechanisms of alcohol-induced tissue injury. The knowledge gained from the study will facilitate the development of more effective treatments for alcohol abuse.