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Biometals. 2010 Apr;23(2):197-206. doi: 10.1007/s10534-009-9278-4.

Potential of lithium to reduce aluminium-induced cytotoxic effects in rat brain.

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Department of Biophysics, Panjab University, Chandigarh 160014, India.


The present study was aimed to explore the potential of an antidepressant drug lithium (Li) in reducing aluminium (Al) induced neurotoxicity. To carry out the investigations, Al was administered orally (100 mg AlCl(3)/Kg b wt/day) whereas, Li was administered through diet (1.1 g Li(2)CO(3)/Kg diet, daily) for a total duration of 2 months. Al treatment resulted in a significant increase in the activity of enzyme nitric oxide synthase and the levels of L-citrulline which, however, were decreased appreciably following lithium supplementation. Al treatment also revealed an increase in DNA fragmentation as evidenced by an increase in number of comets. Interestingly, Li supplementation to Al treated rats reduced the damage inflicted on DNA by Al. Ultrastructural studies revealed an increase in chromatin condensation with discontinuity in nuclear membrane in both the cerebrum and cerebellum of Al treated rats which showed improvement following Li supplementation. Alterations in the structure of synapse and mitochondrial swelling were also seen. The present study shows the potential of Li in containing the damage inflicted by Al on rat brain.

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