Neuroprotective effect of lithium in cold- induced traumatic brain injury in mice

Ciftci E., Karacay R., ÇAĞLAYAN A., ALTUNAY S., Ates N., Altintas M. O., ...More

Behavioural Brain Research, vol.392, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 392
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.bbr.2020.112719
  • Journal Name: Behavioural Brain Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Animal Behavior Abstracts, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Psycinfo, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Traumatic brain injury, Hippocampal volume, Lithium, Cell signaling
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Apart from its well-established therapeutic activity on bipolar disorder and depression, lithium exerts neuroprotective activity upon neurodegenerative disorders, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, the cellular signaling mechanisms mediating lithium's neuroprotective activity and long-term dose- and time-dependent effects on close and remote proximity are largely unknown. Herein, we tested prophylactic and acute effects of lithium (2 mmol/kg) after cold- induced TBI. In both conditions, treatments with lithium resulted in reduced infarct volume and apoptosis. Its acute treatment resulted in the increase of Akt, ERK-1/2 and GSK-3 α/β phosphoylations. Interestingly, its prophylactic treatment instead resulted in decreased phosphorylations of Akt, ERK-1/2, p38, JNK-1 moderately and GSK-3 α/β significantly. Then, we tested subacute (35-day follow-up) role of low (0.2 mmol/kg) and high dose (2 mmol/kg) lithium and revealed that high dose lithium group was the most mobile so the least depressed in the tail suspension test. Anxiety level was assessed by light-dark test, all groups’ anxiety levels were decreased with time, but lithium had no effect on anxiety like behavior. When subacute effects of injury and drug treatment were evaluated on the defined brain regions, infarct volume was decreased in the high dose lithium group significantly. In contrast to other brain regions, hippocampal atrophies were observed in both lithium treatment groups, which were significant in the low dose lithium group in both hemispheres, which was associated with the reduced cell proliferation and neurogenesis. Our data demonstrate that lithium treatment protects neurons from TBI. However, long term particularly low-dose lithium causes hippocampal atrophy and decreased neurogenesis.