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:4/5/2017)... , April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during ... diseases is the primary factor for the growth of ... report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global ... product, technology, application, and geography. The stem cell market ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... ANGELES , March 30, 2017  On April ... Hack the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s ... exciting two-day competition will focus on developing health and ... Hack the Genome is the ... been tremendous. The world,s largest companies in the genomics, ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... CHICAGO , March 29, 2017  higi, the ... ecosystem in North America , today ... Partners and the acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment ... extensive set of tools to transform population health activities ... and lifestyle data. higi collects and secures ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... Colorado (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... A ... as the most troublesome and difficult to control weed in 12 categories of broadleaf ... , Almost 200 weed scientists across the U.S. and Canada participated in the 2016 ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... Switzerland (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... R&D, celebrates this month its 20th anniversary, marking the occasion with a strong ... sponsoring the meeting’s Welcome Reception and further extends an invitation to all attendees ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... USA (PRWEB) , ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... Optics and Photonics 2017 in San Diego, California, this August will feature ... solar fuels, and autonomous vehicles. , SPIE Optics and Photonics, the largest multidisciplinary ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Energetiq ... has announced a facility expansion to accommodate its rapid growth. , The renovations ... workspace and renovation of the existing areas. The expansion includes, a state-of-the-art engineering ...
Breaking Biology Technology: