Effect of Lithium on Acute Oxygen Toxicity and Associated Changes in Brain Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid.
DEFENCE AND CIVIL INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE DOWNSVIEW (ONTARIO)
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Lithium, which has been used in the treatment of certain hyperexcitable states in humans, was tested at various doses and pretreatment times for its effectiveness against the convulsions and lung damage induced by hypervaric oxygen OHP 5.5 ata. Changes in brain gamma-aminobutyric acid GABA prior to the onset of OHP convulsions were also monitored. Lithium at 9.4 mmolkg proved to be highly effective in inhibiting the development of OHP-induced convulsions and lung edema in rats. Lithium also prevented the decrease in brain GABA which invariably precedes convulsions in control animals. Protection was evident only at peak serum levels of lithium 15-60 min postinjection but was absent 24 hr postinjection at which time brain levels of lithium were maximal. The evidence suggests that the anti-convulsive property of lithium in the animal exposed to OHP is related to its effects on central neuroinhibitory processes and on brain GABA metabolism. Modified author abstract
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