Role of inositol-1-phosphatase inhibition in the mechanism of action of lithium

R H Belmaker, A Livne, G Agam, D G Moscovich, N Grisaru, G Schreiber, S Avissar, A Danon, O Kofman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Li inhibition of noradrenergic adenylate cyclase may be due to inhibition by Li of agonist-induced increases in GTP binding to G-protein. Such inhibition by Li of G-protein function could have effects on phosphatidyl-inositol-mediated second messenger systems as well as on cyclic AMP-mediated systems. However, Sherman, Berridge and others have proposed that Li affects phosphatidylinositol metabolism by inhibiting inositol-1-phosphatase. We recently have been able to measure inositol-1-phosphatase in human red blood cells. Preliminary data on patients treated with Li compared with controls suggests that the enzyme is indeed inhibited in vivo in patients undergoing Li treatment. However, a series of experiments in rats on addition of inositol to Li treatment did not find that inositol could reverse Li effects. Chronic oral high dose inositol does not reverse Li-induced polyuria (measured by polydipsia), Li-induced weight loss or Li-induced depression of exploratory behavior. These results suggest that Li inhibition of inositol-1-phosphatase indeed occurs in vivo. However, the physiological significance of inositol-1-phosphatase inhibition is not yet established.

Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalBasic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
Volume66 Suppl 3
StatePublished - 1990


  • Animals
  • Body Weight/drug effects
  • GTP-Binding Proteins/metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lithium/pharmacology
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases/antagonists & inhibitors
  • Rats


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