We report further measurements of lithium and boron bound to human plasma proteins using the techniques of gel chromatography, thermal-neutron activation, and high-sensitivity helium isotope mass spectrometry. The plasma sample was donated by a bipolar patient who had never been on lithium therapy. The plasma lithium binding pattern for the bipolar patient is distinctly different from that previously observed in this laboratory for plasma donated by a normal individual. In the bipolar case, virtually all the lithium is bound to low-molecular-weight proteins (approximately 1000 amu) whereas in the normal case most of the lithium eluted from the gel column was bound to five high-molecular-weight proteins (~50,000 amu to ~1,000,000 amu). The gel elution profiles for boron were roughly similar for the normal and bipolar cases. The lithium results are in agreement with our previous speculation that lithium-binding plasma proteins are missing or exist in very low concentrations in some individuals suffering from affective disorders.
Citation: Biological Trace Element Research
Issue: No. 2
Pub Type: Journals
bipolar disorder, boron, gel chromatography, lithium, mass spectrometry, neutron activation, plasma proteins