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Neurosci Lett. 2002 Jul 12;327(1):71-3.

Chronic lithium chloride administration to rats decreases brain protein level of epsilon (epsilon) subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor-2B.

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Brain Physiology and Metabolism Section, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Building 10, Room 6N202, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The eukaryotic initiation factor-2B (eIF-2B) can regulate translation and protein synthesis. We used Western blot analysis to quantify the protein level of the catalytic epsilon (epsilon) subunit of eIF-2B in brains of rats fed lithium chloride (LiCl) for 6 weeks so as to produce a brain lithium concentration that is therapeutically effective in bipolar disorder. The ratio of eIF-2B (epsilon) to actin protein was significantly reduced (P<0.01) in LiCl-fed rats, 0.86+/-0.06 (SE) compared to 1.2+/-0.07 in control rats. These results suggest that a therapeutic level of lithium may downregulate the synthesis of proteins whose translation depends on eIF-2B.

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