Effects of lithium on choline transport in synaptosomes and human erythrocytes

  • K. Martin
Part of the Biological Council book series


Lithium salts are used in the treatment and prophylaxis of ‘Affective disorders’. They have a strong therapeutic action in the manic phase of the disease, a weak action in the depressive phase and when given prophylactically they attenuate the recurrence of both manic and depressive phases. The mechanism of action is still completely unknown despite a host of observations on the effects of lithium on neurotransmitter metabolism, body electrolytes and various other biological systems (for a recent review see Schou, 1973). The situation is complicated because at first sight many of the reports seem to contradict each other. This is partially explained by the fact that the in vivo effects of lithium on some systems, for example, amine metabolism, are quite different depending on whether one considers the `acute effects’ (occurring during the first 4 days of lithium administration) or those occurring after prolonged administration (Shaw, 1973). The reason for this is not clear but two points are probably significant in this context.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Biology Endowment Trust Fund 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeEngland

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