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Data obtained in our laboratory had suggested that acute ethanol administration (6 g/kg body weight) selectively and rapidly affects the intracellular system of protein glycosylation at the level of the Golgi apparatus. Dolichols are important membrane components, and dolichyl phosphate is a glycosyl sugar carrier for N-glycosylation of proteins in endoplasmic reticulum and is considered rate-limiting for this process. In this study, modifications in the concentration and distribution of liver microsomal dolichols after acute ethanol administration were investigated. Between 3 and 24 hr after ethanol administration, the microsomal dolichyl phosphate concentration was significantly lower than in control animals. The highest reduction was observed at 12 hr (−52%). An earlier and more marked reduction of total dolichol was observed in the Golgi apparatus, and, in particular, in the secretory fraction F1 (−70% at 6 hr). Ethanol treatment of isolated hepatocytes led to a significant reduction of the de novo synthesis of both dolichyl phosphate and free dolichol. Moreover, in vitro experiments have demonstrated that pro-oxidant agents lead to a significant decrease of both free dolichol and dolichyl phosphate. Our results suggest that acute ethanol administration induces a marked decrease of dolichols, probably by increasing the degradation and impairing the biosynthetic pathway of these molecules.