- Lithium (Li) reduces brain inositol levels. Berridge has suggested that this effect is related to Li's mechanism of action. It had previously been shown that pilocarpine causes a limbic seizure syndrome in lithium treated rats, and that these lithium-pilocarpine seizures are reversible by intracerebroventricular inositol administration to rats. We now show that although inositol passes the blood-brain barrier poorly, large doses of intraperitoneal (IP) inositol can also reverse Li-pilocarpine seizures. Using gas chromatography, IP inositol can raise brain inositol levels. Demonstration that inositol enters brain after peripheral administration provides a basis for possible pharmacological intervention in psychiatric disorders at the level of second messengers linked to the phosphatidylinositol cycle.