Lithium and melatonin in pigmented eye rats: Effects of dose and time of day Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Lithium has been suggested to exert some of its theraputic effects by modifying the function of the retinal-hypothalamic pineal pathway that is essential for the chronobiology of an organism (Seggie et al., 1983). Previous work was done in Wistar rats, an Albino species which lacks the enzyme for synthesis of eye pigment. This pigment is important in the regulation of light cued rhythms. The present project investigated effects of lithium in a pigmented eye strain. Adult male Long Evans rats were maintained individually on a 12 hour light/12 hour dark schedule with free access to water and one of three diets: (1) normal laboratory chow; (2) a low lithium diet: lab chow supplemented with 50 mM/kg of lithium chloride. Body weight and water intake were measured after six weeks on the diets. In Experiment I, separate groups of rats were sacrificed by rapid decapitation every 4 hours in the light/dark cycle. In Experiment II, animals were sacrificed every 90 min. between 12:00 and 20:00 hours during the dark cycle. Blood and pineal glands were collected for lithium determination and assay of melatonin by RIA. In Experiment I, plasma lithium levels were 0.35 +/- 0.01 and 0.57 +/- 0.02 mEq/1 for the low and high diets. Serum and pineal melatonin evidenced the expected diurnal rhythms. The diets had no effect on these parameters except at 14:00 hours.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

publication date

  • January 1984