Clinical implications of research on the mechanism of action of lithium

Robert H. Belmaker, Bernard Lerer, Ehud Klein, Newman Michael, Ehud Klein, Dick Earl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. 1. Lithium is a unique drug in its clinical profile in psychiatry. 2. 2. Lithium has numerous biochemical effects, hut none has yet been proven to be its mode of therapeutic action. 3. 3. Inhibition of noradrenaline-sensitive adenylate cyclase is reviewed as the only biochemical effect of lithium shown to occur in both animals and man at therapeutic lithium concentrations. 4. 4. A tetracycline antibiotic, demeclocycline, also blocks noradrenaline-sensitive adenylate cyclase. 5. 5. A clinical trial of demeclocycline in mania would provide a test of the adenylate cyclase theory of lithium action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-296
Number of pages10
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • adenylate cyclase
  • antidiuretic hormone
  • demeclocycline
  • lithium
  • mania


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