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Neurochem Res. 2006 Sep;31(9):1141-51. Epub 2006 Aug 31.

Chronic lithium treatment has antioxidant properties but does not prevent oxidative damage induced by chronic variate stress.

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Programa de Pós-Graduação em Neurociências, Instituto de Ciências Básicas da Saúde, UFRGS, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.


This study evaluated the effects of chronic stress and lithium treatments on oxidative stress parameters in hippocampus, hypothalamus, and frontal cortex. Adult male Wistar rats were divided into two groups: control and submitted to chronic variate stress, and subdivided into treated or not with LiCl. After 40 days, rats were killed, and lipoperoxidation, production free radicals, total antioxidant reactivity (TAR) levels, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities were evaluated. The results showed that stress increased lipoperoxidation and that lithium decreased free radicals production in hippocampus; both treatments increased TAR. In hypothalamus, lithium increased TAR and no effect was observed in the frontal cortex. Stress increased SOD activity in hippocampus; while lithium increased GPx in hippocampus and SOD in hypothalamus. We concluded that lithium presented antioxidant properties, but is not able to prevent oxidative damage induced by chronic variate stress.

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