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Brain Res. 2004 Dec 10;1029(1):48-55.

Lithium inhibits the modulatory effects of morphine on susceptibility to pentylenetetrazole-induced clonic seizure in mice: involvement of a nitric oxide pathway.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 13145-784, Tehran, Iran.


Lithium has been reported to inhibit opioid-induced properties. The present study examined the effect of acute and chronic administration of lithium chloride (LiCl) on morphine's biphasic modulation of susceptibility to pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced clonic seizure in mice. We also examined the possible involvement of nitric oxide (NO) pathway in lithium effect. Both acute (0.1 and 1 mg/kg) and chronic (same doses, 21 consecutive days) administration of LiCl completely inhibited the anticonvulsant and proconvulsant effects of morphine (at doses 1 and 30 mg/kg, respectively). A very low and per se noneffective dose of LiCl (0.05 mg/kg) significantly inhibited both phases of morphine effect when administered concomitant with a noneffective low dose of naloxone (0.1 mg/kg). The NO synthase inhibitor N(G)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) at a per se noneffective dose of 0.3 mg/kg potentiated the inhibitory effects of low doses of LiCl (0.01 and 0.05 mg/kg) on both phases of morphine effect. l-arginine, a NO synthase substrate, at a per se noneffective dose of 30 mg/kg reversed the inhibitory effects of lithium (1 mg/kg). Lithium is capable of antagonizing both modulatory effects of morphine on seizure susceptibility even at relatively low doses. These inhibitory effects of lithium may also involve NO synthesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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