Lithium as a prooxidant? A possible protective role of selenium – in vitro study

Irena Musik 1,  
Joanna Kocot 1  
Chair and Department of Medical Chemistry, Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland
Department of Virology, Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2017;24(3):423–427
Introduction and objective:
Lithium is used in medicine but its application may cause diverse side effects. Selenium has been found to show protective properties against negative influence of different harmful factors. This study was aimed at evaluating the influence of non-toxic dose of lithium on antioxidant parameters in FaDu (ATCC HTB-43) and Vero (ECACC No. 84113001) cell lines as well as the possible protective effect of non-toxic concentration of sodium selenite.

Material and Methods:
The cells were subjected to 0.17 mmol/L of Li2CO3 and/or 2.9 µmol/L of Na2SeO3 · 5H2O for Vero as well as 0.47 mmol/L of Li2CO3 and/or 3.0 µmol/L of Na2SeO3 · 5H2O for FaDu cells. The incubation was continued for the subsequent 72 h. In the cells total antioxidant status (TAS) values, activities of antioxidant enzymes – superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) as well as the reduced glutathione concentration (GSH) were determined.

Results and conclusion:
In Vero cells lithium decreased all studied parameters, particularly GPx. Selenium co-treatment showed a distinct protective effect. In FaDu cells the similar effect was observed only in case of GSH. The results point to differences in action of lithium and selenium in physiological and pathological state. As long-term lithium therapy is applied in psychiatric patients the results regarding Vero line let suggest that selenium might be considered as an adjuvant alleviating side effects of Li-treatment.

Joanna Kocot   
Chair and Department of Medical Chemistry, Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland
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