Chronic treatment with mood stabilizers lithium and valproate prevents excitotoxicity by inhibiting oxidative stress in rat cerebral cortical cells.Biol Psychiatry. 2005 Dec 01; 58(11):879-84.BP
Recent studies indicate that chronic treatment with the mood-stabilizing drugs lithium and valproate produces a neuroprotective effect against excitotoxicity. In this study, we aimed to determine whether inhibiting oxidative damage plays a role in a neuroprotective effect of lithium and valproate against excitotoxicity.
Intracellular free calcium concentration was measured with the fluorescent calcium ion indicator fluo-3. Malondialdehyde, an end product derived from peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acid, and protein carbonyls were used to assess oxidative damage to lipid and protein. Excitotoxicity was assayed by measuring cell viability with the MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide] method and by measuring deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) fragmentation with TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labeling) staining.
We found that chronic treatment with lithium and valproate at their therapeutically relevant concentrations significantly inhibited the glutamate-induced increase of intracellular free calcium concentration, lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, DNA fragmentation, and cell death in primary cultured rat cerebral cortical cells. This treatment had no effect on basal intracellular free calcium concentration, lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, DNA fragmentation, and cell death.
Our results suggest that chronic treatment with lithium and valproate inhibits oxidative damage to lipid and protein and in turn produces a neuroprotective effect against excitotoxicity.