Reducing the toxicity of lithium

Jun 08, 2010

Lithium is the most effective treatment for bipolar disorder.

However, its use is limited because of neurological side effects and a risk for overdose-induced . Many of the beneficial effects of are mediated by its inhibition of GSK-3 proteins, but whether this is the mechanism underlying its negative effects has not been determined.

However, Raquel Gómez-Sintes and José Lucas, at CSIC/UAM, Spain, have now delineated a molecular pathway by which chronic administration of therapeutic doses of lithium has negative effects in mice. Specifically, they found that gait abnormalities and nerve cell death in several regions of the brain were a result of GSK-3 protein inhibition, which led to increased nuclear localization of NFATc3/4 proteins and increased levels of the death-inducing molecule Fas ligand.

The authors hope that these data might provide new ideas for combination therapies that diminish the toxicities of lithium, which has been proposed as a treatment for Alzheimer disease.

Explore further: Scientists discover gene controlling muscle fate

More information: www.jci.org/articles/view/3787… 6336b61bbbea56ebf13c

Provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation

4 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers Discover How Lithium Works

Jan 14, 2008

Despite more than 30 years of widespread use of lithium to control psychiatric disorders, such as bipolar disorder, scientists have been uncertain about how this drug actually works on a molecular level.

Recommended for you

Scientists discover gene controlling muscle fate

5 hours ago

Scientists at the University of New Mexico have moved a step closer to improving medical science through research involving muscle manipulation of fruit flies. They discovered in the flight muscles of Drosophila ...

Study clues to aging bone loss

5 hours ago

In Canada, bone fractures due to osteoporosis affect one in three women and one in five men over their lifetimes, costing the health care system more than $2.3 billion a year.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Drcandanesin
not rated yet Jun 10, 2010
As I have commented elsewhere in Physorg.com, the intestinal flora changes affect brain metabolism and though the affect disorders occur due to nerve cell metobilsm. Lithium seems to protect and recover brain cells from nitric oxide toxicity. The patient should be encouraged not to consume alcohol and fat and protein rich diets when they are on lithium treatment. Regards. Candan Esin MD.