Lithium ion does not protect brain against transient ischemia in gerbils.
It has been proposed that lithium ion desensitizes neuronal receptors that function via the inositol phospholipid signaling mechanism. We examined the effects of lithium chloride on the morphologic outcome after 5 minutes of cerebral ischemia induced in gerbils by occluding both common carotid arteries under brief halothane anesthesia. In three treated groups of 10 gerbils each, 5 meq/kg i.p. lithium chloride was given 2 days, 1 day, and 2 hours before ischemia; 2 hours before ischemia; or immediately after the end of ischemia. Corresponding control groups of nine or 10 gerbils each received equivalent volumes of saline injected at comparable times. All gerbils were perfusion-fixed 1 week later, and neuronal density of the hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells was determined. Lithium induced very mild intraischemic systemic hypothermia, but postischemic hyperthermia developed in both treated and control groups. Neuronal densities were equal in corresponding groups. The results indicate that our regimen of lithium administration provides no benefit in survival of hippocampal neurons, and intraischemic hypothermia of less than 0.8 degrees C is not protective. Other strategies to inactivate the signal transduction system that is specific for excitatory neurotransmission should be evaluated.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association