Efficacy of Prednisolone in the Management of Alcohol-Induced Adverse Effects in a Rat model
Masibo, Mutaki Kevin
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Prednisolone is a corticosteroid drug that is widely prescribed for the treatment of various inflammatory conditions. Use of steroids in the management of alcoholic liver disease (ALD) and other disorders associated with alcohol abuse remains controversial. Some studies have concluded that steroid therapy is beneficial in patients with severe ALD, but other reports indicate a contrary opinion regardless of the status of the disease. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of treatment with prednisolone on early intervention of acute alcohol intoxication in a rat model. Experimental animals were divided into nine groups of five male albino rats that were treated as follows: distilled water; alcohol 7.5g/kg; alcohol 10g/kg; prednisolone 5mg/kg; prednisolone 9mg/kg; alcohol 7.5g/kg + prednisolone 5mg/kg; alcohol 7.5 g/kg + prednisolone 9mg/kg; alcohol 10g/kg + prednisolone 5mg/kg; and alcohol 10g/kg + prednisolone 9mg/kg. Alcohol was administered for five successive days in a week, while prednisolone was given for two consecutive days. All treatments were given orally once daily for a total of 4 weeks. Rats were then sacrificed and blood was collected by cardiac puncture for hematological and biochemical assessments using automated analyzers. The liver, kidney, and brain were harvested for gross and histological examination. Data collected were analyzed using one-way ANOVA followed by Tukey’s post hoc test. Alcohol significantly reduced (p < 0.05) the red blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit, platelets, albumin, phosphorous, potassium, and sodium levels, while significantly elevating (p < 0.05) lymphocytes, erythrocyte indices, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyl transferase, total bilirubin, urea, and creatinine values. Histostructure of the liver of alcohol-treated rats showed pathology characterized by mononuclear cell infiltration, cytoplasmic vacuolization, and steatosis. Cellular infiltration and widening of tubules were observed in kidney tissues while brain tissues showed mild degeneration. Prednisone was found effective in reversing leukocytosis. However, the drug was not useful in the management of other alcohol-induced disorders. Side effects attributed to prednisolone therapy involved macrocytosis, thrombocytopenia, elevated liver enzymes, hyperbilirubinemia, elevated kidney biomarkers, and electrolyte disturbance. The limited efficacy of prednisolone displayed in this study suggests that the drug is not useful in the early intervention of acute alcohol toxicity.