Reversal of an abnormality of polymorphonuclear leukocyte chemotaxis with lithium

H. Daniel Perez, Howard B. Kaplan, Ira M. Goldstein, Louis Shenkman, William Borkowsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lithium chloride significantly enhanced directed migration in vitro of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) from a 29-year-old woman with a long history of recurrent staphylococcal and streptococcal skin infections. In the absence of lithium, PMN from this patient failed almost completely to respond to standard chemotactic stimuli. Other PMN functions were intact but the cells were found to contain modestly elevated levels of cyclic adenosine 3′, 5′-monophosphate (cAMP). After treating the patient with lithium carbonate, PMN cAMP levels diminished and the chemotactic responsiveness of her cells was found to be normal. Coincidentally, she became free of infections. Subsequent withdrawal of lithium therapy resulted in a relapse clinically and return of the abnormality of PMN chemotaxis. Addition of lithium to her PMN in vitro again restored their ability to respond to chemoattractants. These findings suggest that lithium may prove to be useful for the treatment of other patients with similar abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-315
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1980
Externally publishedYes


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