Red Blood Cell/Plasma Choline Ratio — A Possible Biological Marker of Lithium Therapy — Clinical Correlations and Limitations
Martin (10) described the accumulation of choline (Ch) against a concentration gradient by human red blood cells. Later he and his associates (8, 9, 11) reported that lithium treatment strongly inhibited Ch transport in human red cells. Furthermore, the Ch transport system did not recover when red cell ghosts were prepared, a procedure which removed both intracellular as well as extracellular lithium. After a patient was withdrawn from lithium therapy, the Ch transport system in the red cells took about three months to recover. Inasmuch as this time is about the life of red cells in the blood compartment, they suggested that lithium therapy produced an irreversible inhibition of Ch transport. The clinical significance of this startling observation is unknown.
KeywordsLithium Treatment Lithium Therapy Lithium Level Chronic Lithium Plasma Lithium
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