NeuropharmacologyPartial lithium-associated protection against apoptosis induced by C2-ceramide in cerebellar granule neuronsCenteno, Francisco1; Mora, Alfonso1; Fuentes, José Manuel1; Soler, Germà1; Claro, Enrique1,2Author Information 1Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Extremadura, Avda. de la Universidad, s/n, E-10071 Cáceres, Spain 2Corresponding Author: Enrique Claro ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This work was supported financially by DGICYT grant PB95-1227, and also by a joint research project from Almaraz Nuclear Power Plant and Universidad de Extremadura. A.M. is recipient of a PFPI fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Culture. Received 16 September 1998; accepted 16 October 1998 NeuroReport: December 21st, 1998 - Volume 9 - Issue 18 - p 4199-4203 Buy Abstract PRIMARY cultures of cerebellar granule neurons, maintained in a serum-containing medium, underwent apoptosis when exposed to C2-ceramide, as assessed by mitochondrial reduction of MTT and intranucleosomal DNA fragmentation. After an 8h exposure to 50 μM C2-ceramide, cell viability decreased by 25–40%. Addition of lithium together with C2-ceramide resulted in a partial protection of apoptosis, which was maximal ab mM lithium (37% protection). When lithium was added h before the apoptotic stimulus the neuroprotective effect of the ion was clearly increased (66% protection). This effect was not due to intracellular inositol depletion or inhibition of NMDA receptors. Our data broaden the nature of apoptotic insults being reversed by lithium, stressing the neuroprotective effects of the ion. © 1998 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.