Introduction: Mechanism of therapeutic action of lithium has not been fully understood. Proposed hypotheses include: neurotransmitters transport and signalling modulation, interference with the secondary and other intracellular messenger systems, regulation of gene expression and finally many neuroprotection and antioxidant effects.
Oxidative stress is a state of imbalance between oxidant processes and antioxidant defence. It probably plays important role in the patophysiology and the course of bipolar disorder.
Aim: The aim of this research was to estimate the lithium’s influence on oxidative stress parameters in human plasma (in vitro).
Material and methods: Evaluated oxidative stress parameters were: lipid peroxidation and total antioxidant capacity. Lipids peroxidation was measured by the concentration of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARs) (the method of Rice-Evans). Measurement of total antioxidant capacity was done as a decolorization assay with the pre-formed radical monocation ABTS•+ (the method of Re).
Plasma samples from healthy volunteers were incubated with lithium concentrations corresponding to concentrations used in the prophylaxis and treatment of bipolar disorder. The control plasma samples were prepared without the drug.
Results: It was shown that incubation of plasma with lithium did not cause statistically significant changes of TBARS levels nor total antioxidant status.
Conclusions: The study showed that lithium did not induce any significant changes of oxidative stress parameters in human plasma in vitro. The results indicate the necessity for further researches in the field in vivo in patients.