Neuronal loss in hippocampus induced by prolonged ethanol consumption in rats

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Science  08 Aug 1980:
Vol. 209, Issue 4457, pp. 711-713
DOI: 10.1126/science.7394532


Quantitative neurohistological techniques were used to examine the hippocampal complex of laboratory rats maintained on ethanol-containing or control diets for 5 months followed by a 2-month alcohol-free period. Chronic ethanol consumption resulted in a significant loss of hippocampal pyramidal and dentate gyrus granule cells. This study provides direct evidence that long-term ethanol consumption, in the absence of malnutrition, produces neuronal loss in the central nervous system.