- Forskolin is a diterpene derivative that activates adenylate cyclase and raises cAMP levels in the cell. Both i.p. and i.c.v. forskolin cause behavioral hypoactivity. Lithium has been reported for many years to block cAMP accumulation, but the behavioral relevance of this biochemical effect is not clear. We studied the effect of acute and chronic lithium on icv forskolin-induced hypoactivity. Acute lithium had no effect, but chronic lithium significantly blocked forskolin-induced hypoactivity. The effect of chronic lithium occurred with both forskolin in DMSO and with a water-soluble forskolin derivative. These results suggest that this behavioral model can be used to investigate whether new inhibitors of adenylate cyclase possess lithium-like effects.