Lithium is a nutritional trace element, used clinically as an anti-depressant. Preclinically, lithium has neuroprotective effects in invertebrates and mice, and it can also extend lifespan in fission yeast, C. elegans and Drosophila. An inverse correlation of human mortality with the concentration of lithium in tap water suggests a possible, evolutionarily conserved mechanism mediating longevity. Here, we assessed the effects of lithium treatment on lifespan and ageing parameters in mice. Lithium has a narrow therapeutic dose range, and overdosing can severely affect organ health. Within the tolerable dosing range, we saw some mildly positive effects of lithium on health span but not on lifespan.
Keywords: ageing; healthspan; lifespan; lithium.
© 2021 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.