Lithium improves the behavioral disorder in rats subjected to transient global cerebral ischemia

Behav Brain Res. 2007 Feb 27;177(2):282-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2006.11.021. Epub 2007 Jan 8.


Previous study has indicated that chronic treatment with lithium protects brain against ischemic injury by reducing apoptotic death. To investigate whether lithium improves the behavioral disorder induced by transient global cerebral ischemia, we examined the effects of lithium treatment on the performance of rats in a set of behavioral tests, i.e. beam balance, elevated plus maze (EPM), open field and Morris water maze. Our results showed that lithium attenuated the worse general 'well-being' and the worse performance in beam balance, and hyperactivity in EPM and open field, including increased open arm entries, time spent in the open arms, squares crossed, rearing and grooming over 7 days after 15min ischemia, which were induced by four-vessel occlusion in Sprague-Dawley rats. Moreover, lithium improved the injured spatial learning and memory ability in Morris water maze at post-ischemic days 8 and 9. Histological analysis displayed that it decreased obviously cell death in hippocampal CA1 region. Our study further confirmed the protective role of lithium in the ischemia-reperfusion injury and suggested that lithium might be a helpful therapeutic approach to the treatment of stroke combining with other neuroprotective agents.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antipsychotic Agents / blood
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Cell Count / methods
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Exploratory Behavior / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / complications*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / drug therapy
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / mortality
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / pathology
  • Lithium Chloride / blood
  • Lithium Chloride / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / drug effects
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Mental Disorders / etiology*
  • Mental Disorders / mortality
  • Mental Disorders / pathology
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Lithium Chloride