The movement of the lithium ion (Li+) across the membrane of intact erythrocytes incubated in vitro was assessed under two different experimental conditions in which such transfer occurred primarily due to the activity of a lithium-sodium countertransport system. The 13 subjects on whom the in vitro procedures were done subsequently received lithium carbonate for 14 to 56 days, and the extent of accumulation of Li+ by erythrocytes in vivo was measured. While both in vitro procedures yielded data that correlated with the extent of accumulation of Li+ by erythrocytes in vivo, a system measuring the efflux of Li+ from Li+-loaded cells produced a much higher correlation (0.976). The magnitude of this correlation suggests that this in vitro system can be used for further investigations into the relevance of the erythrocyte accumulation of Li+ to the pathogenesis and treatment of affective disorders.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)