Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The present study determined the effect of short- (3 days) and long- (21 days) term treatment with lithium on the release of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) form the hippocampus of the rat, measured both in vivo using microdialysis and in vitro using incubated slices. In the in vivo experiments (on the chloral hydrate-anaesthetized rat) electrical stimulation of the dorsal raphe nucleus for 20 min evoked an increase of 5-HT in dialysates of hippocampus, which both lasted for the duration of the stimulus and was frequency-dependent (2-10 Hz). Electrical stimulation of the dorsal raphe nucleus, at low stimulation pulse frequencies (2 and 3 Hz), released 3-4 fold more 5-HT in rats treated for 3 days with lithium chloride (3 mmol/kg s.c. twice daily), compared to controls. However, the effect of stimulation of the dorsal raphe nucleus was not altered in rats receiving lithium in the diet for 21 days. Basal levels of 5-HT in hippocampal dialysates for rats receiving long- but not short-term treatment with lithium, were significantly lower than controls. In agreement with the in vivo experiments, the in vitro experiments showed that depolarization (high potassium)-evoked release of endogenous 5-HT from slices of hippocampus of rats treated with short- but not long-term administration of lithium was enhanced compared to controls. These experiments provide direct biochemical evidence that short-term treatment with lithium increases depolarization-evoked release of endogenous 5-HT in the hippocampus, an effect which may be related to the rapid antidepressant actions of the drug.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


Journal article



Publication Date





977 - 984


Animals, Dialysis, Drug Administration Schedule, Electric Stimulation, Hippocampus, In Vitro Techniques, Lithium, Male, Potassium, Raphe Nuclei, Rats, Rats, Inbred Strains, Serotonin