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Published on behalf of the International Federation for Cell Biology
Cancer Cell death Cell cycle Cytoskeleton Exo/endocytosis Differentiation Division Organelles Signalling Stem cells Trafficking
Cell Biology International (1995) 19, 499–506 (Printed in Great Britain)
Morphological alterations caused by lithium in various cell lines
Demetrios P. Matthopoulos, Margaret Tzaphlidou and Ioannis Leontiou
Laboratories of General Biology and Medical Physics, Medical School, University of Ioannina, P.O.Box 1186, Ioannina 45110, GREECE


Lithium is being used for the treatment of mental diseases and for the attenuation of muelosuppression during chemotherapy. As during long term lithium treatment kidney damage has been reported, we studied morphological alterations in cells of kidney origin after exposure to lithium chloride. Above the level of 4 mmol, lithium has fatal effects in CV1 cells while HeLa cells that are not originating from kidneys, tolerate higher lithium concentrations. Cellular morphology alters during treatment duration. At early stages, cells become flatter on their substrate and upon longer than 4 days treatment begin to detach from their substrate and eventually cell death comes in a concentration dependent manner. The only morphological alteration observed in a lymphoblastoid cell line was a statistically significant cellular swelling.

Key words: lithium, tissue culture, kidney cells, microscopy.


ISSN Print: 1065-6995
ISSN Electronic: 1095-8355
Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the International Federation for Cell Biology (IFCB)