The Effects of Subchronic Lithium Administration in Male Wistar Mice on Some Biochemical Parameters


Lithium salts are efficiently used for treatment of psychiatric disorders. However, prolonged treatment frequently involves adverse side-effects. In the present work, effects of lithium carbonate administration on some biochemical parameters were studied in male mice. Lithium carbonate (20, 40 or 80 mg/kg body weight, corresponding to 3.77, 7.54 or 15.08 mg Li element/kg body weight, respectively) was injected daily for 14 or 28 days. The following parameters were recorded : water consumption, body weight, lithium and testosterone serum concentrations, activities of catalase (CAT), superoxide-dismutase (SOD) and glutathione-peroxidase (GPX) and level of lipid peroxidation (expressed as TBARS) in liver was performed. Lithium treatment, especially at the highest dose for 28 days, was found to induce weight gain, polydipsia and a significant decrease of plasma testosterone level. Lipid peroxidation level and activities of SOD and GPX were increased in liver which suggests a perturbation of the antioxidative status. Our results indicate that subchronic exposure to lithium, which induces weight gain and polydipsia under our experimental conditions, also damages the male reproductive system and triggers an oxidative stress in the liver.


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This work was supported by our Research Unit (UR/09-06) directed by Abdelfattah El Feki, at the Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, Tunisia.

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Correspondence to A. Elfeki.

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Nciri, R., Allagui, M.S., Vincent, C. et al. The Effects of Subchronic Lithium Administration in Male Wistar Mice on Some Biochemical Parameters. BIOLOGIA FUTURA 60, 273–280 (2009).

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  • Lithium carbonate
  • polydipsia
  • antioxidant enzymes
  • testosterone