Lithium increases dynorphin A(1-8) and prodynorphin mRNA levels in the basal ganglia of rats

S. P. Sivam, K. Takeuchi, S. Li, J. Douglass, O. Civelli, L. Calvetta, E. Herbert, J. F. McGinty, J. S. Hong

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35 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to understand the possible influence of the antimanic drug, lithium, and the neuroleptic, haloperidol, alone or in combination, on the regulation of dynorphin biosynthesis in the striatum. The study was done using male Fisher-344 rats subjected to a regimen of subchronic administration of lithium chloride (4 mEq/kg/day for 1, 2, 4 or 6 days, i.p.) or a regimen of chronic oral administration of a diet containing lithium carbonate (1.5 g/kg of the diet). Subchronic administration of lithium increased striatal dynorphin A(1-8)-like immunoreactivity (DN-LI) in a time-related fashion. Immunocytochemistry revealed an increase in DN-LI in fibers and cells clustered in 'patches' throughout striatum. The increase in DN-LI was reversible on cessation of lithium administration. Concurrent administration of lithium and an opiate antagonist, naltrexone, or a dopamine receptor antagonist, haloperidol, did not influence the changes induced by lithium. Chronic oral administration of lithium for 21 days led to an increase in DN-LI in the striatum. Co-administration of haloperidol with the 21 day regimen of lithium administration failed to affect the increase in DN-LI. The prodynorphin mRNA abundance in the striatum was quantitated by a molecular hybridization procedure using a prodynorphin 32P-cRNA probe generated from the Riboprobe system. Evidence from the Northern blot analysis reveals that lithium increases the prodynorphin mRNA abundance in the striatum. These results indicate that lithium affects the dynamics of prodynorphin biosynthesis in the striatum, presumably increasing transcription and/or translational processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-163
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1988


  • Dynorphin
  • Haloperidol
  • Lithium
  • Naltrexone
  • Prodynorphin messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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    Sivam, S. P., Takeuchi, K., Li, S., Douglass, J., Civelli, O., Calvetta, L., Herbert, E., McGinty, J. F., & Hong, J. S. (1988). Lithium increases dynorphin A(1-8) and prodynorphin mRNA levels in the basal ganglia of rats. Molecular Brain Research, 3(2), 155-163.