Chronic lithium administration down regulates transthyretin mRNA expression in rat choroid plexus

David J Pulford, Fiona Adams, Brian Henry, David J Mallinson, Ian C. Reid, Caroline A. Stewart

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    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Transthyretin (TTR) accounts for a quarter of the protein content of ventricular cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) yet its exact role in the brain remains unknown. Patients with a diagnosis of depression have reduced CSF levels of TTR and the locus encoding the TTR gene has been implicated in a Danish pedigree of bipolar patients. Lithium, the major treatment for bipolar disorder in the UK, was subcutaneously infused into rats for 28 days in the form of lithium chloride using osmotic minipumps. In situ hybridizations using oligonucleotide probes targeted against the TTR transcript were performed on coronal brain sections. Lithium significantly reduced the level of transthyretin mRNA in the rat choroid plexus within the lateral and third ventricle. The down-regulation was confirmed using semi-quantitative reverse transcription PCR on dissected brain tissue. Recent studies in mice suggest that the TTR gene is implicated in depression-like behavior therefore this effect of lithium may be relevant to its use as a mood stabilizer or an adjuvant to antidepressant drugs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)549-55
    Number of pages7
    JournalNeuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    • Bipolar disorder
    • in-situ hybridization
    • Mood stabilizer
    • Minipump
    • (SQ)-RT-PCR


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