Navigation Links
Uncovering lithium's mode of action
Date:5/21/2010

Though it has been prescribed for over 50 years to treat bipolar disorder, there are still many questions regarding exactly how lithium works. However, in a study appearing in this month's Journal of Lipid Research, researchers have provided solid evidence that lithium reduces brain inflammation by adjusting the metabolism of the health-protective omega-3-fatty acid called DHA.

Inflammation in the brain, like other parts of the body, is an important process to help the brain combat infection or injury. However, excess or unwanted inflammation can damage sensitive brain cells, which can contribute to psychiatric conditions like bipolar disorder or degenerative diseases like Alzheimers.

It's believed that lithium helps treat bipolar disorder by reducing brain inflammation during the manic phase, thus alleviating some of the symptoms. Exactly how lithium operates, though, has been debated.

Mireille Basselin and colleagues at the National Institute of Aging and University of Colorado, Denver, took a detailed approach to this question by using mass spectrometry analysis to analyze the chemical composition of brain samples of both control and lithium-treated rats stressed by brain inflammation.

They found that in agreement with some other studies, rats given a six-week lithium treatment had reduced levels of arachidonic acid and its products, which can contribute to inflammation.

In addition, they also demonstrated, for the first time, that lithium treatment increased levels of a metabolite called 17-OH-DHA in response to inflammation. 17-OH-DHA is formed from the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and is the precursor to a wide range of anti-inflammatory compounds known as docosanoids. Other anti-inflammatory drugs, like aspirin, are known to also enhance docosanoids in their mode of action.

Basselin and colleagues noted that the concentration of DHA did not increase, which suggests that lithium may increase 17-OH-DHA levels by affecting the enzyme that converts DHA to 17-OH-DHA.

By reducing both pro-inflammatory AA products, and increasing anti-inflammatory DHA products, lithium exerts a double-protective effect which may explain why it works well in bipolar treatment. Now that its mechanism is a little better understood, it may lead to additional uses for this chemical.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nick Zagorski
nzagorski@asbmb.org
301-634-7366
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Uncovering the secrets of ulcer-causing bacteria
2. Uncovering secrets of life in the ocean
3. New climate change reports underscore need for action
4. Chemist stitches up speedier chemical reactions
5. AAPS presents therapeutic protein drug interactions workshop
6. MicroRNA network study implicates rewired interactions in cancer
7. Leptin action in the brain linked to sepsis survival
8. Cellcom Israel Ltd. Announces Dismissal of a Purported Class Action
9. Research pinpoints action of protein linked to key molecular switch
10. Key enzyme discovered to be master regulator in protein-protein reactions
11. Sorting device for analyzing biological reactions puts the power of a lab in a researcher’s pocket
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/24/2017)...  EyeLock LLC, a leader of iris-based identity ... biometric solution on the latest Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 ... World Congress 2017 (February 27 – March ... 3, Stand 3E10. The Snapdragon ... platform—a combination of hardware, software and biometrics ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... , Feb. 22, 2017 With ... 2021, ABI Research identifies four technologies that innovative ... to secure significant share in the changing competitive ... and passive authentication.   "Companies can ... comes to security," says Dimitrios Pavlakis , ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... N.Y. and PORTLAND, Ore. ... ) and the Avamere Family of Companies (Avamere Health ... today announced a six-month research study that will apply ... improve eldercare at senior living and health centers. By ... Avamere hopes to gain insights into physical and environmental ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... can be safely completed in an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) with satisfactory clinical ... and previous two-year TDR studies. , Jake Lubinski, president of AxioMed, commented ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... Delpor, Inc. (Delpor), a biotechnology company ... National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for the further advancement of the company’s 3-month ... technology and is expected to deliver therapeutic levels of olanzapine for a period of ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... San Diego, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... African food and wine scene. Making stops in several cities, she gained a ... Her culinary adventure began in Stellenbosch, a town in South Africa’s Western Cape province. ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... KNOXVILLE, Tenn. , Feb. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... ) ("Provectus" or the "Company"), a clinical-stage oncology ... information regarding the deadline to participate in its ... million units, consisting of shares of common stock ... stockholders and holders of listed warrants. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: