Author(s): Massot O, Rousselle JC, Fillion MP, Januel D, Plantefol M,
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Abstract Lithium ion is widely used to treat depressive patients, often as an initial helper for antidepressant drugs or as a mood stabilizer; however, the toxicity of the drug raises serious problems, because the toxic doses of lithium are quite close to the therapeutic ones. Thus, precise characterization of the target(s) involved in the therapeutic activity of lithium is of importance. The present work, carried out at molecular, cellular, and in vivo levels, demonstrates that 5-HT1B receptor constitutes a molecular target for lithium. Several reasons suggest that this interaction is more likely related to the therapeutic properties of lithium than to its undesirable effects. First, the observed biochemical and functional interaction occurs at concentrations that precisely correspond to effective therapeutic doses of lithium. Second, 5-HT1B receptors are well characterized as controlling the activity of the serotonergic system, which is known to be involved in affective disorders and the mechanism of action of various antidepressants. These findings represent progress in our knowledge of the mechanism of action of lithium that may facilitate clinical use of the ion and also open new directions in the research of antidepressant therapies.
This article was published in Neuropsychopharmacology
and referenced in Journal of Advanced Chemical Engineering