Reduced CREB phosphorylation after chronic lithium treatment is associated with down-regulation of CaM kinase IV in rat hippocampus
Lithium is widely used in the treatment of bipolar disorder, although its mechanism of action is not fully clear. This study was undertaken to assess the effects of prolonged lithium administration on cAMP responsive element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation and CaM kinase IV (CaMKIV), one of the main kinases phosphorylating CREB in neurons following synaptic activation. CREB total protein expression and phosphorylation (Ser133), as well as CaMKIV enzymatic activity, phosphorylation of Thr196 (the activator residue) and kinase expression level were assessed in total homogenates and nuclei from the hippocampus and prefrontal/frontal cortex following 5 wk lithium treatment. Whereas no significant effects were found in prefrontal/frontal cortex, lithium administration reduced CREB phosphorylation and at the same time down-regulated CaMKIV (enzymatic activity, phospho-Thr196 and protein expression level) in cell nuclei from the hippocampus. These data suggest for the first time the involvement of CaMKIV in the mechanism of action of lithium.(Received February 16 2006)
(Reviewed April 11 2006)
(Revised June 22 2006)
(Accepted June 28 2006)
Key Words: CaM kinase IV; CREB; hippocampus; lithium; mood stabilizer.
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