Lithium transport in human fibroblasts: Relationship to RBC lithium transport and psychiatric diagnoses

Robert Hitzemann, Lily Kao, Jack Hirschowitz, David Garver, Eric Gruenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Cultured fibroblasts were prepared from six normal controls, five DSM-III manic patients, and six DSM-III schizophrenic patients. Lithium (Li+) uptake, 24-hour Li+ ratios, and steady-state membrane potential were measured in these cell lines. The uptake of 10 mM Li+ reached maximum at 2 hours with an intracellular concentration of approximately 15 mM. No significant difference in uptake was found among subject groups. Twenty-four hour Li+ (ratio of intracellular/extracellular Li+) ratios were determined by incubating the cell lines for 24 hours in the presence of 2 mM Li+. No significant difference was observed among groups; nor was there any significant correlation between the fibroblast 24-hour ratios and 24-hour in vitro ratios determined in donor red cells. The relationship between membrane potential and the 24 hour Li+ ratio in fibroblasts was determined. The average potential in these cell lines was -56 mV and was not affected by Li+ treatment. No correlation between the Li+ ratio and membrane potential was found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-344
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Fibroblasts
  • lithium
  • mania
  • schizophrenia
  • transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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