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Pharmacol Rep. 2016 Apr;68(2):224-30. doi: 10.1016/j.pharep.2015.09.005. Epub 2015 Oct 1.

The effect of lithium on hematopoietic, mesenchymal and neural stem cells.

Author information

1
Department of Adult Psychiatry, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland.
2
Department of Adult Psychiatry, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland. Electronic address: janusz.rybakowski@gmail.com.

Abstract

Lithium has been used in modern psychiatry for more than 65 years, constituting a cornerstone for the long-term treatment of bipolar disorder. A number of biological properties of lithium have been discovered, including its hematological, antiviral and neuroprotective effects. In this article, a systematic review of the effect of lithium on hematopoietic, mesenchymal and neural stem cells is presented. The beneficial effects of lithium on the level of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and growth factors have been reported since 1970s. Lithium improves homing of stem cells, the ability to form colonies and HSC self-renewal. Lithium also exerts a favorable influence on the proliferation and maintenance of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). Studies on the effect of lithium on neurogenesis have indicated an increased proliferation of progenitor cells in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and enhanced mitotic activity of Schwann cells. This may be connected with the neuroprotective and neurotrophic effects of lithium, reflected in an improvement in synaptic plasticity promoting cell survival and inhibiting apoptosis. In clinical studies, lithium treatment increases cerebral gray matter, mainly in the frontal lobes, hippocampus and amygdala. Recent findings also suggest that lithium may reduce the risk of dementia and exert a beneficial effect in neurodegenerative diseases. The most important mediators and signaling pathways of lithium action are the glycogen synthase kinase-3 and Wnt/β-catenin pathways. Recently, to study of bipolar disorder pathogenesis and the mechanism of lithium action, the induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) obtained from bipolar patients have been used.

KEYWORDS:

Glycogen synthase kinase-3; Hematopoietic stem cells; Lithium; Mesenchymal stem cells; Neural stem cells

PMID:
26922521
DOI:
10.1016/j.pharep.2015.09.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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