The effect of lithium on cation transport measured in vivo in patients suffering from bipolar affective illness
We have investigated cation transport in vivo in patients being treated with lithium for bipolar affective illness by studying the disposition of rubidium after an oral load of rubidium chloride. The rate of erythrocyte cation transport was increased in the patients when compared with matched healthy volunteers. However, the rate of in-vivo erythrocyte rubidium accumulation in the euthymic treated patients was significantly lower than in a matched group of unmedicated manic patients. The regulation of specific pathways for cation transport may be altered in individuals predisposed to affective illness.