The growth promoting effects of lithium and insulin on cultures of mammary gland epithelium and CZF mouse mammary tumor cells were investigated. Lithium chloride exerts a 450-fold increase in the rate of DNA synthesis in mammary epithelium from mid-pregnant mice in organ culture or monolayer culture. There is an increase in both the percentage of cells initiating DNA synthesis and the net accumulation of DNA. The most effective lithium concentration is 10 mM, and the maximally effective rate of stimulation is reached 48 hours after addition. The magnitude of response to lithium varies with the physiological state of the mammary epithelial cell donor: epithelium from non-pregnant or lactating mice is less responsive than that from mid-pregnant mice. In combination, insulin and lithium produce either a synergistic or an additive effect on the growth of epithelium dependent upon the physiological state of the donor animal. Lithium also promotes the growth of mammary tumor cells in the absence or serum or other mitogens. The action of lithium on DNA synthesis appears to be a direct effect on the epithelial cells.
View details for Web of Science ID A1980JY46100006
View details for PubMedID 7000799