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Short- and Long-Term Lithium Administration: Effects on the Brain's Serotonergic Biosynthetic Systems

Suzanne Knapp and Arnold J. Mandell
Science
New Series, Vol. 180, No. 4086 (May 11, 1973), pp. 645-647
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1736207
Page Count: 3
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Short- and Long-Term Lithium Administration: Effects on the Brain's Serotonergic Biosynthetic Systems
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Abstract

Short-term treatment with lithium chloride stimulates the uptake of tryptophan and its conversion to serotonin by striate synaptosomes. Preincubation of striate synaptosomes with L-tryptophan and in vivo administration of L-tryptophan appear to act in a similar manner. Midbrain tryptophan hydroxylase activity is reduced in temporal continuity with the lithium-induced activation of tryptophan uptake and conversion. By 10 days, conversion of tryptophan to serotonin in nerve endings becomes a joint function of the maintained increased uptake of tryptophan and a decreased level of tryptophan hydroxylase activity in nerve endings. The occurrence of this delayed alteration corresponds in time to the previously described axoplasmic flow rate for tryptophan hydroxylase.

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