Lithium's effect in forced-swim test is blood level dependent but not dependent on weight loss

Yuly Bersudsky, Alona Shaldubina, R. H. Belmaker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    47 Scopus citations


    The effects of lithium in models of depression are often inconsistent. We aimed to replicate a regimen that induces robust antidepressant effects in the forced-swim test. Mice were treated with three different doses of lithium chloride (LiCl) 0.25, 0.4 or 0.5% in food and the forced-swim test or open field test was performed on day 15. We yoked control mice to food deprivation to test whether lithium-induced food deprivation could cause the lithium effects in the forced-swim test. Treatment with LiCl doses leading to blood levels of 1.3 and 1.4 mmol/l led to highly significant reduction in immobility time in the forced-swim test, but the dose leading to a blood level of 0.8 mmol/l was not different from controls in immobility time. Mice yoked to lithium-induced food deprivation showed no difference in the forced-swim test compared with controls. In conclusion these results suggest that lithium effects in mice in the forced-swim test are dose dependent but not owing to lithium-induced weight loss.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)77-80
    Number of pages4
    JournalBehavioural Pharmacology
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 1 Feb 2007


    • Animal model of depression
    • Chronic lithium treatment
    • Forced-swim test
    • Mouse

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pharmacology
    • Psychiatry and Mental health


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