Objective: Association between chronic alcohol intake and cardiac abnormality is well known; however, the precise underlying molecular mediators involved in ethanol-induced heart abnormalities remain elusive. This study investigated the effect of chronic ethanol exposure on calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIδ (CaMKIIδ) gene expression and monoamine oxidase (MAO) levels and histological changes in rat heart. It was also planned to find out whether Zingiber officinale (ginger) extract mitigated the abnormalities induced by ethanol in rat heart.
Methods: Male wistar rats were divided into three groups of eight animals each: control, ethanol, and ginger extract treated-ethanol (GETE) groups.
Results: After 6 weeks of treatment, the results revealed a significant increase in CaMKIIδtotal and isoforms δ2 and δ3 of CaMKIIδ gene expression as well as a significant decrease in the MAO levels in the ethanol group compared to that in the control group. Moreover, compared to the control group, the ethanol group showed histological changes, such as fibrosis, heart muscle cells proliferation, myocyte hypertrophy, vacuolization, and focal lymphocytic infiltration. Consumption of ginger extract along with ethanol ameliorated CaMKIIδtotal. In addition, compared to the ethanol group, isoforms gene expression changed and increased the reduced MAO levels and mitigated heart structural changes.
Conclusion: These findings indicate that ethanol-induced heart abnormalities may, in part, be associated with Ca2+ homeostasis changes mediated by overexpression of CaMKIIδ gene and the decrease of MAO levels and that these effects can be alleviated by using ginger extract as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.