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Eur J Pharmacol. 1991 Aug 14;207(4):355-9.

Differential effects of long-term lithium and carbamazepine administration on Gs alpha and Gi alpha protein in rat brain.

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Laboratory of Clinical Science, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


The G protein subunits, Gs alpha, Gi alpha, and Go alpha, have been quantitated in various rat brain regions using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) techniques. Chronic (3-week) treatment with carbamazepine decreased Gs alpha in several brain regions reaching significance in the neostriatum, while chronic lithium treatment had no unequivocal effect. Lithium significantly increased Gi alpha in the hypothalamus and hippocampus, whereas carbamazepine decreased Gi alpha in the frontal cortex. Both treatments had no consistent effects on Go alpha. We conclude that long-term treatment with lithium and carbamazepine exerts differential effects on G protein alpha subunits, and that this modification of signal transduction represents a potential mechanism of antibipolar drug-induced neural plasticity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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