Lithium dampens neurotransmitter response in smooth muscle: Relevance to action in affective illness

H. A. Menkes, J. M. Baraban, A. N. Freed, S. H. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Lithium, by inhibiting inositol phosphate metabolism, interferes with the phosphatidylinositol ('phosphinositide') cycle, which is stimulated by numerous hormones and neurtransmitters. To examine the relevance of this action to neurotransmission, we evaluated effects of lithium treatment on smooth muscle responses to transmitters. In lithium-pretreated tracheal muscle, the relaxation following carbachol or histamine contractions is retarded. Lithium does not affect relaxation following contractions elicited by treatment with KCl and phorbol 12,13-diacetate in combination, which bypasses receptor stimulation of the phosphatidylinositol cycle. Half-maximal effects of lithium occur at 1 mM, corresponding to therapeutic concentrations. Dampening of neurotransmitter responses by lithium treatment may explain the unique ability of lithium to relieve and prevent both mania and depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5727-5730
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume83
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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