Effect of alcohol dehydrogenase‐1B and ‐7 polymorphisms on blood ethanol and acetaldehyde concentrations in healthy subjects with a history of moderate alcohol consumption

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  • Published: Sep 28, 2017
  • Author: Roberta Pastorino, Luigi Iuliano, Alessia Vecchioni, Dario Arzani, Mirta Milic, Francesca Annunziata, Chiara Zerbinati, Ettore Capoluongo, Stefano Bonassi, James D. McKay, Stefania Boccia
  • Journal: Drug Testing and Analysis


This study aims to evaluate the effect of ADH1B and ADH7 genotypes on blood acetaldehyde and ethanol levels after alcohol ingestion, and to measure the genotoxic effect of smoking and ethanol on the buccal cells, also controlling for ADH variants. We recruited healthy Italian subjects with at least a moderate history of alcohol consumption. All subjects were given an alcoholic drink of 0.4 g ethanol /kg of body weight. Blood venous samples were collected at baseline, and 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes after ingestion. Buccal cells were collected before ethanol ingestion. Sixty subjects were enrolled in the study. Individuals with the ADH1B GG genotype had median ethanol levels of 5.0mM (IQR 3.4–7.2), and those with the ADH1B GT/TT genotype had 4.7mM (IQR 4.2–4.8). Corresponding acetaldehyde levels were 1.5μM (IQR 0.7–2.6) for ADH1B GG genotype and 1.6μM (IQR 1.5–1.7) for ADH1B CG/GG genotype. Individuals with the ADH7 CC genotype had median ethanol levels of 5.0mM (IQR 3.3–7.2), while 5.0mM (IQR 4.7–5.6) was in those with the ADH7 CG/GG genotype. Corresponding acetaldehyde levels were 1.5 μM (IQR 0.7–2.6) for ADH7 CC genotype and 1.5 μM (IQR 1.4–1.6) for ADH7 CG/GG genotypes. A non‐significant increase in the frequency of karyolitic and pyknotic cells was found in the group of heavy drinkers and current smokers, when compared to the moderate drinkers and the non‐smokers. Our study does not support the hypothesis that ADH1B and ADH7 genotypes affect blood ethanol and acetaldehyde concentration.

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