Stress impairs the induction of long-term potentiation in the hippocampus as well as hippocampus-dependent memory. Lithium, a classical mood stabilizer, is known to have beneficial effects on stress-induced impairment of spatial memory. In the present study, we investigated lithium effects on the impairment of long-term potentiation induction after exposure to acute immobilization stress. As previously reported, immobilization stress impaired long-term potentiation induction in the CA1 region of rat hippocampal slices. Treating the slices with 0.6 or 1 mM lithium attenuated impaired long-term potentiation induction in stressed animals. Lithium was without effect on long-term potentiation induction in unstressed animals or baseline synaptic responses in unstressed or stressed animals. These results demonstrate a protective effect of lithium against stress-induced impairment of long-term potentiation induction.
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