Effect Of Ethanol On Prostacyclin

The effects of ethanol on PGI2, another endothelium-derived vasodilator and potent inhibitor of platelet aggregation, have also been investigated. Ethanol increased PGI2 production in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells and elevated plasma levels ofPGI2 in volunteers administered ethanol [29], Guivernau et al. found that while ethanol did not affect vascular PGI2 release in control rats, in aortas from alcohol-fed animals ethanol stimulated PGI2 production [30], These data imply that this response to ethanol may be altered by chronic alcohol consumption. In any case, ethanol's modulatory effect on endothelial PGI2 production could also contribute to its cardiovascular protective effects in vivo. As in the case ofNO, fluid shear stress is an important physiological stimulus for enhanced cyclooxygenase activity and subsequent PGI2 release by endothelial cells [10]. Moreover, agonist and shear stress induced PGI2 release is dependent on activation of an inhibitory guanine nucleotide binding protein (Gia protein) inasmuch as pertussis-catalyzed ribosylation of Gia substrates inhibits PGI2 release in static and flow-stimulated cells [31], Since ethanol increases endothelial Gia functionality in cultured endothelial cells [26], and since PGI2 release is shear stress-dependent, it is tempting to speculate that ethanol may modulate shear stress induced activation of endothelial PGI2 release via activation of a pertussis toxin sensitive Gia protein. It would therefore be of interest to determine the specific effect of ethanol on flow-induced cyclooxygenase activity and PGI2 production in endothelial cells. Of note, ethanol has been shown to increase cyclooxygenase-2 expression in both brain and uterine tissues [32],

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