- Acute and chronic lithium treatment reduces levels of brain myo-inositol in rats. Several biological effects of lithium can be reversed in vitro by addition of myo-inositol. The ability of myo-inositol to reverse behavioral effects of lithium was tested using chronic inositol administration or acute intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injections. Chronic myoinositol elevated activity during the first 10 min in an open field, but did not reverse lithium-induced hypokinesia. Myo-inositol (i.c.v.) reversed the suppression of rearing behavior 24 hrs after an acute dose of lithium (5 mEq/kg) but did not attenuate hypokinesia 24 hrs after a high dose of lithium (10 mEq/kg). Myo-inositol, but not the inactive isomer chiro-inositol (i.c.v.), also significantly prolonged the latency to clonus in the lithium pilocarpine seizure model. These studies suggest that reduction of brain myo-inositol may be a critical mechanism for the behavioral effects of lithium.