The Effect of Lithium Chloride on the Levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in the Neonatal Brain

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Abstract

The brain-derived neurotrophic factor BDNF, which regulates neurogenesis and brain plasticity, mediates the neuroprotective action of the mood stabilizer lithium, which is commonly used in psychiatry. However, it remains unclear whether lithium affects BDNF levels in neonatal brain structures that differ in the maturity levels during ontogeny. Here, we studied the acute effects of lithium chloride (LiCl) treatment on the BDNF levels and levels of the apoptosis marker active caspase-3 in the brainstem and cortex of 3-day-old rats. Lithium increased the BDNF levels in both the brainstem and cortex of rat pups 2 h after injection. In the brainstem, which is more developed at postnatal day 3 in comparison to the cortex, the lithium-induced increase in the BDNF levels was accompanied by a 2-fold decrease in the levels of active caspase-3. These results show that the neuroprotective effects of LiCl treatment in the developing mammalian brain depend on the maturity level of the neonatal brain regions that are affected by the mood stabilizer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-348
Number of pages5
JournalNeurochemical Journal
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Keywords

  • brain-derived neurotrophic factor
  • lithium chloride
  • developing brain
  • active caspase-3
  • MESSENGER-RNA
  • NERVOUS-SYSTEM
  • BDNF
  • RATS
  • NEUROPROTECTION
  • EXPRESSION
  • HIPPOCAMPUS
  • CASPASE-3
  • PRECURSOR
  • NEURONS

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