Lithium Chloride Promotes Lipid Accumulation through Increased Reactive Oxygen Species Generation
Lithium salts are commonly used to treat bipolar disease. Despite the frequent prescription of long-term lithium therapy, awareness of obesity, the most serious side-effect, and the mechanisms by which lithium influences lipid metabolism are largely unknown. In the present study, we gained valuable insights into the mechanisms underlying the lipogenic action of lithium by examining its effects on lipid accumulation in both cells and the zebrafish system. We have presented evidence for the first time that lithium induces lipid accumulation through stimulation of intracellular ROS generation via a GSK-3β-independent pathway. Our findings may facilitate the development of novel therapeutic targets to ameliorate side effects of lithium therapy in psychotic patients.