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Eur J Pharmacol. 2002 May 3;442(1-2):17-22.

Lithium chloride at a therapeutic concentration reduces Ca2+ response in protein kinase C down-regulated human astrocytoma cells.

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Department of Neuropsychiatry, School of Medicine, Fukushima Medical University, Hikarigaoka 1, Fukushima, Japan.


Since the therapeutic efficacy of Li+ in the treatment of mood disorder is observed only after chronic administration, we examined whether long-term Li+ treatment with a therapeutic concentration affected the elevation of intracellular-free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) induced by carbachol, a muscarinic receptor agonist, in 1321N1 human astrocytoma cells. Carbachol caused [Ca2+]i elevation through phosphoinositide hydrolysis in a concentration-dependent manner. Treatment of the cells with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), a protein kinase C activator, for 2 min resulted in a reduction of the carbachol-induced [Ca2+]i elevation. However, PMA did not reduce the carbachol-induced [Ca2+]i elevation in cells treated with PMA for 48 h, reflecting the down-regulation of protein kinase C. Although Li+ at a therapeutic concentration (1 mM) did not affect the carbachol-induced [Ca2+]i elevation in normal cells, it potently inhibited the [Ca2+]i elevation in protein kinase C down-regulated cells. This inhibitory action of Li+ was observed in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. When protein kinase C activity was directly determined, Li+ treatment did not restore protein kinase C activity in protein kinase C down-regulated cells. [3H]Quinuclidinyl benzylate, a muscarinic receptor ligand, bound to membranes derived from normal and protein kinase C down-regulated cells with a similar Kd and Bmax, and Li+ did not affect these parameters of [3H]quinuclidinyl benzylate binding. These results indicated that Li+ at a therapeutic concentration reduced the muscarinic receptor-mediated increased in [Ca2+]i under the protein kinase C-deficient condition without affecting muscarinic receptor or protein kinase C activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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