Effects of Ethyl Alcohol on the Livers, Kidneys, Adrenal Glands, and Brains of C57BL/6J and BALB/cJ Mice

Francesca Gates, Colby College


This study was done with twenty C57BL/cJ mice, a high preference strain; and twenty BALB/cJ mice, a very low preference strain. The questions posed were whether a constant intake of twelve percent alcohol would produce cellular damage in the liver, kidney, adrenalin gland, and brain, and if this damage would be to a different extent in the two strains. Four mice in each strain were kept as water fed controls. All mice were fed a standard on a schedual of decreasing intervals over an eleven week peiod. Microscopic study of the tissues revealed a depletion of cytoplam in the cortex of the adrenal glands. Fat was beginning to gather in the liver cells. There were some binucleate liver cells. In both of these tissues the damage occured sooner and more extensively in the BALB/6J mice than in the C57BL/cJ mice. The kidneys of the C57BL/cJ mice began to develop adipose tissue, while the BALB/6J mice showed no sign of it. In a general overview the brains showed no obvious signs of damage.