Lithium efflux from erythrocytes incubated in vitro during lithium carbonate administration

J. Rybakowski, A. Frazer, J. Mendels

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21 Scopus citations


The efflux of the lithium ion (Li+) from erythrocytes into medium containing the cation, a test which provides an index of Li+-sodium ion (Na+) counterflow activity, was measured in subjects both prior to and during the administration of lithium carbonate. Administration of lithium carbonate produced a significant rise in the Li Ratio measured in vitro, which suggests that Li+ -Na+ counterflow activity was inhibited. This effect was apparent as early as three days after administration of lithium carbonate. Inhibition of Li+ -Na+ counterflow activity persisted for at least seven days after discontinuation of lithium carbonate, with pre-treatment values of the Li Ratio being reached 14 days after the drug was stopped. It remains to be determined whether this pharmacological effect of the lithium ion is related to its clinical actions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages8
JournalCommunications in Psychopharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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