Safety and efficacy of combined low-dose lithium and low-dose aspirin: A pharmacological and behavioral proof-of-concept study in rats

Rachel Shvartsur, Galila Agam, Alla Shnaider, Sarit Uzzan, Ahmad Nassar, Adi Jabarin, Naim Abu-Freha, Karen Meir, Abed N. Azab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite established efficacy in bipolar disorder patients, lithium (Li) therapy has serious side effects, particularly chronic kidney disease. We examined the safety and behavioral effects of combined chronic low-dose aspirin plus low-dose Li in rats to explore the toxicity and therapeutic potential of this treatment. Rats were fed regular or Li-containing food (0.1% [low-dose, LLD-Li] or 0.2% [standard-dose, STD-Li]) for six weeks. Low-dose aspirin (1 mg/kg) was administered alone or together with Li. Renal function and gastric mucosal integrity were assessed. The effects of the combination treatment were evaluated in depression-like and anxiety-like behavioral models. Co-treatment with aspirin did not alter plasma Li levels. Chronic STD-Li treatment resulted in significant polyuria and polydipsia, elevated blood levels of creatinine and cystatin C, and increased levels of kidney nephrin and podocin—all suggestive of impaired renal function. Aspirin co-treatment significantly damped STD-Li-induced impairments in kidney parameters. There were no gastric ulcers or blood loss in any treatment group. Combined aspirin and LLD-Li resulted in a significant increase in sucrose consumption, and in the time spent in the open arms of an elevated plus-maze compared with the LLD-Li only group, suggestive of antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects, respectively. Thus, we demonstrate that low-dose aspirin mitigated the typical renal side effects of STD-Li dose and enhanced the beneficial behavioral effects of LLD-Li therapy without aggravating its toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1827
JournalPharmaceutics
Volume13
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Aspirin
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Inflammation
  • Lithium
  • Nephrotoxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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