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Biochem J. 1992 Mar 1;282 ( Pt 2):377-85.

Li+ increases accumulation of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate and inositol 1,3,4,5-tetrakisphosphate in cholinergically stimulated brain cortex slices in guinea pig, mouse and rat. The increases require inositol supplementation in mouse and rat but not in guinea pig.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison 53706.


Li+, beginning at a concentration as low as 1 mM, produced a time- and dose-dependent increase in accumulation of [3H]Ins(1,4,5)P3 and [3H]Ins(1,3,4,5)P4 in acetylcholine (ACh)-stimulated guinea-pig brain cortex slices prelabelled with [3H]inositol and containing 1 mM-inositol in the final incubation period. Similar results were obtained by mass measurement of samples incubated with 10 mM-Li+ by using a receptor-binding assay, although the percentage stimulation of Ins(1,4,5)P3 accumulation by Li+ was somewhat less by this assay. The increase in accumulation of Ins(1,4,5)P3 and Ins(1,3,4,5)P4 by Li+ was absolutely dependent on the presence of ACh. In the absence of added inositol, 1-5 mM-Li+ produced smaller increases in Ins(1,4,5)P3, but the Li(+)-dependent increase in Ins(1,3,4,5)P4 was not as affected by inositol omission. In previous studies with cholinergically stimulated rat and mouse brain cortex slices, Li+ inhibited accumulation of Ins(1,4,5)P3 in rat and inhibited Ins(1,3,4,5)P4 accumulation in rat and mouse [Batty & Nahorski (1987) Biochem. J. 247, 797-800; Whitworth & Kendall (1988) J. Neurochem. 51, 258-265]. We found that Li+ inhibited both Ins(1,4,5)P3 and Ins(1,3,4,5)P4 accumulation in these species, but we could reverse this inhibition by adding 10-30 mM-inositol; we then observed a Li(+)-induced increase in Ins(1,4,5)P3 and Ins(1,3,4,5)P4. The species differences observed in the absence of supplemented inositol were explained by the fact that a much higher concentration of inositol was required to bring the Li(+)-elevated levels of CDP-diacylglycerol (CDPDG) down to baseline in the rat and mouse. These data suggest that inositol is more rate-limiting for phosphatidylinositol synthesis in the presence of Li+ in rat and mouse, which can account for the previous reports of inhibition of Ins(1,4,5)P3 and Ins(1,3,4,5)P4 accumulation by this ion in these species. Thus, in all species examined. Li+ could be shown to increase accumulation of Ins(1,4,5)P3 and Ins(1,3,4,5)P4 in cholinergically stimulated brain cortex slices if the slices were supplemented with sufficient inositol to bring the Li(+)-elevated level of CDPDG down to near baseline, as seen in the absence of Li+. In guinea-pig brain cortex slices, increases in Ins(1,4,5)P3 and Ins(1,3,4,5)P4 accumulation could then be seen at Li+ concentrations as low as 1 mM, which falls within the therapeutic range of plasma concentrations in the treatment of manic-depressive disorders. These observations may have therapeutic implications.

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