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When lymphocytes from healthy subjects are incubated in lithium (8 mM) or ethacrynate (1 microM) they show a time-dependent adaptive response, which consists of a significant increase in the number of Na+,K(+)-ATPase molecules in the lymphocyte membrane. We have studied the lymphocytes from nine euthymic drug-free patients with a history of manic depressive psychosis, and have found that this normal adaptive response was absent. It was also absent from the lymphocytes of euthymic patients taking lithium. We conclude that this altered in vitro adaptive response of lymphocyte Na+,K(+)-ATPase represents an enduring trait marker in manic depressive psychosis.


Journal article


J Affect Disord

Publication Date





199 - 206


Bipolar Disorder, Humans, Lithium, Lithium Carbonate, Lymphocytes, Ouabain, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Radioligand Assay, Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase