Transfer of lithium ions across the erythrocyte membrane

Alan Frazer, Joe Mendels, David Brunswick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Mechanisms involved in the transfer of the lithium ion (Li+) across the erythrocyte (RBC) membrane were explored. Isolated erythrocytes were incubated in vitro at 37 ° under different experimental conditions, and either the uptake of Li+ into the cell or the efflux of the cation from the cell was measured. The presence of sodium ions in the incubation medium had a dual effect: (1) reducing the net accumulation of Li+ by erythrocytes, but (2) accelerating the rate of loss of Li+ from erythrocytes. Ouabain produced an increase in the net accumulation of Li+ by erythrocytes only if there was a rise in cell Na+. Furosemide did not affect the transfer of Li+ across the erythrocyte membrane, whereas phloretin did reduce net Li+ accumulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-270
Number of pages16
JournalCommunications In Psychopharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1977
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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