News Story: Full Text
Sponsored By
Gleolan for brain tumors
Please Click On The Above Banner For More Details
Braintumor Website

Lithium inhibits invasion of glioma cells possible involvement of glycogen synthase kinase-3

Al Musella's Comments: (This is his personal views and are not necessarily the views of the Musella Foundation!)


Posted on: 10/19/2008

First published on August 20, 2008
This version was published on January 1, 2008
Neuro Oncol 2008 10(5):690-699; DOI:10.1215/15228517-2008-041 
Duke University Press 

Basic and Translational Investigations

Lithium inhibits invasion of glioma cells; possible involvement of glycogen synthase kinase-3

Michal O. NowickiNina DmitrievaAndrew M. SteinJennifer L. CutterJakub GodlewskiYoshinaga SaekiMasayuki NitaMichael E. BerensLeonard M. SanderHerbert B. NewtonE. Antonio Chiocca and Sean Lawler

Dardinger Laboratory for Neuro-oncology and Neurosciences, Department of Neurological Surgery, The Ohio State University Medical Center and James Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, OH (M.O.N., J.L.C., J.G., N.D, E.A.C., S.E.L, Y.S., M.N., H.N.); Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics and Department of Physics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (A.M.S., L.M.S.); Translational Genomics Institute, Phoenix, AZ (M.E.B.), USA

Address correspondence to E. Antonio Chiocca or Sean Lawler, Dept. of Neurological Surgery, The Ohio State University Medical Center Wiseman Hall, 400 West 12th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 ( or

Therapies targeting glioma cells that diffusely infiltrate normal brain are highly sought after. Our aim was to identify novel approaches to this problem using glioma spheroid migration assays. Lithium, a currently approved drug for the treatment of bipolar illnesses, has not been previously examined in the context of glioma migration. We found that lithium treatment potently blocked glioma cell migration in spheroid, wound-healing, and brain slice assays. The effects observed were dose dependent and reversible, and worked using every glioma cell line tested. In addition, there was little effect on cell viability at lithium concentrations that inhibit migration, showing that this is a specific effect. Lithium treatment was associated with a marked change in cell morphology, with cells retracting the long extensions at their leading edge. Examination of known targets of lithium showed that inositol monophosphatase inhibition had no effect on glioma migration, whereas inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) did. This suggested that the effects of lithium on glioma cell migration could possibly be mediated through GSK-3. Specific pharmacologic GSK-3 inhibitors and siRNA knockdown of GSK-3{alpha} or GSK-3β isoforms both reduced cell motility. These data outline previously unidentified pathways and inhibitors that may be useful for the development of novel anti-invasive therapeutics for the treatment of brain tumors.


Key Words: glioma • GSK-3 • invasion • lithium • motility


Click HERE to return to brain tumor news headlines

Home | Brain Tumor Guide | FAQs | Find A Treatment
Noteworthy Treatments | News | Virtual Trial | Videos | Novocure Optune® | Newsletter
Donations | Brain Tumor Centers | Survivor Stories | Temodar®
Fundraising For Research | Unsubscribe | Contact Us

Copyright (c) 1993 - 2020 by:
The Musella Foundation For Brain Tumor Research & Information, Inc
1100 Peninsula Blvd
Hewlett, NY 11557