The Bactericidal Defect of Neutrophil Function with Lithium Therapy

  • William R. Friedenberg
  • James J. Marx
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 127)


Lithium has been promoted for the treatment of granulocytopenia and as an adjuvant for cancer chemotherapy (Jacob and Herbert, 1974; Gupta et al., 1975; Greco, 1976; Greco and Brereton, 1977; Charron et al., 1977; Tisman and Wu, 1977; Catane et al., 1977; Stein et al., 1977). In preliminary studies of 8 normal volunteers we found a significant bactericidal defect of the granulocytes when studied after 1 week of lithium therapy. We also assessed lymphocyte subpopulations, function, and cell mediated immunity both in vivo and in vitro and could find no defect of lymphocyte function except for a reduction in the response of the lymphocytes to PPD antigen. The rational for the use of lithium is to decrease the incidence of infection in patients who have granulocytopenia. With such defects demonstrated in normals after short term doses, granulocyte and lymphocyte functions were studied in patients on long term lithium therapy.


Neutrophil Function Lymphocyte Function Myeloperoxidase Activity Lithium Therapy Phagocytic Index 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • William R. Friedenberg
    • 1
  • James J. Marx
    • 1
  1. 1.Marshfield Medical FoundationMarshfieldUSA

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