Effect of lithium on ventricular remodelling in infarcted rats via the Akt/mTOR signalling pathways

Tsung Ming Lee, Shinn Zong Lin, Nen Chung Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signalling is the molecular pathway driving physiological hypertrophy. As lithium, a PI3K agonist, is highly toxic at regular doses, we assessed the effect of lithium at a lower dose on ventricular hypertrophy after myocardial infarction (MI). Male Wistar rats after induction of MI were randomized to either vehicle or lithium (1 mmol/kg per day) for 4 weeks. The dose of lithium led to a mean serum level of 0.39 mM, substantially lower than the therapeutic concentrations (0.8-1.2 mM). Infarction in the vehicle was characterized by pathological hypertrophy in the remote zone; histologically, by increased cardiomyocyte sizes, interstitial fibrosis and left ventricular dilatation; functionally, by impaired cardiac contractility; and molecularly, by an increase of p-extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK) levels, nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) activity, GATA4 expression and foetal gene expressions. Lithium administration mitigated pathological remodelling. Furthermore, lithium caused increased phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 4E binding protein 1 (p-4E-BP1), the downstream target of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Blockade of the Akt and mTOR signalling pathway with deguelin and rapamycin resulted in markedly diminished levels of p-4E-BP1, but not ERK. The present study demonstrated that chronic lithium treatment at low doses mitigates pathological hypertrophy through an Akt/mTOR dependent pathway.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBioscience Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 28 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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