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Keywords:

  • Lithium;
  • Schwann cells;
  • Axolemma;
  • Myelin;
  • Calcium

Abstract: Cultured Schwann cells stimulated with an axolemma- or myelin-enriched fraction incorporated 2.5 to three times as much [3H]thymidine when 10 mM lithium was added to the extracellular medium. The ability of lithium to enhance the mitogenic activity of either fraction was dose dependent. This result was not due to an increase in osmolarity, because addition of 10 mM NaCl had no effect on the amount of labeled thymidine accumulated by Schwann cells treated with either membrane fraction. In an earlier study, the effect of either membrane fraction could be potentiated with active phorbol esters. Lithium significantly enhanced the incorporation of [3H]thymidine into Schwann cells treated with a myelin-enriched fraction and phorbol esters. In contrast, lithium slightly increased the amount of labeled thymidine incorporated into Schwann cells stimulated with an axolemma-enriched fraction and phorbol esters. The mitogenic activity of either membrane fraction was impaired when the calcium channel blockers Mn2+ and nifedipine were added. Addition of lithium stimulated an increase in the amount of [3H]thymidine accumulated by Schwann cells treated with either the axolemma- or myelin-enriched fraction in the presence of either Mn2+ or nifedipine.