Naltrexone reverses a long term depressive effect of a toxic lithium injection on saccharin preference

Israel Lieblich, Raz Yirmiya*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In 2 experiments, using female rats, we demonstrated that an injection of 2% body weight 150 mM lithium chloride (LiCl) reduced saccharin preference, measured 48 hr later. Furthermore, Experiment 1 showed that this effect of lithium was reversed by 10 mg/kg naltrexone injected immediately before lithium administration. Experiment 2 demonstrated that one injection of 10 mg/kg morphine also depressed saccharin preference 48 hr post-injection. Paradoxically, morphine given before lithium reversed the effects of lithium on saccharin preference. The experiments suggest the involvement of endogenous opioid peptides in the long term toxic effects of lithium on saccherin preference.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)547-550
Number of pages4
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Two samples of 32 and 33, 230-250 g, female Sprague-Dawley rats (Gilroy, CA), participated in Experiments 1 and 'Supported by NIH Grant NS 07628 to J. C. Liebeskind and by NIH grant NS 11618 to J. Garcia. zOn sabbatical leave from the Department of Psychology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel. This manuscript was completed at the time of Dr. Israel Lieblich's death, September 25, 1986. 3Requests for reprints should be addressed to Raz Yirmiya, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90024.


  • Endogenous opioid peptides
  • Lithium
  • Morphine
  • Naltrexone
  • Saccharin
  • Toxicity


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