Differential effect of lithium on the circadian oscillator in young and old hamsters

Eiko Iwahana, Toshiyuki Hamada, Ayumi Uchida, Shigenobu Shibata*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Lithium is one of the most commonly used drugs in the prophylaxis and treatment of bipolar disorder. It is also known to lengthen circadian period in several organisms. Previously, we reported that there was the association between lengthening circadian period by lithium and GSK-3 protein and its enzyme activity in the mouse suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). In this study, we show that lithium affects the circadian oscillator in young and old hamster SCN, in an age-dependent manner. We found that basal levels of phosphorylated GSK-3 (pGSK-3) protein expression in old hamsters are much lower than that in young hamsters. Furthermore, in the old hamsters, lithium did not affect the period of the locomotor activity rhythm or pGSK-3 expression, while changing period and pGSK-3 in the younger animals. These results indicate that the content of pGSK-3 in the SCN has an important role in age-dependent effects of lithium on the circadian oscillator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752-756
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Mar 16


  • Aging
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Circadian rhythm
  • GSK-3
  • Hamster
  • Lithium
  • Mouse
  • SCN
  • Suprachiasmatic nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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