Lithium is a mood stabilizer used for the treatment of bipolar disorder (manic depression), which causes dramatic changes in energy, behavior and mood. Lithium’s mechanism of therapeutic action remains unknown. Here, Jason King, Regina Teo and colleagues use the amoeba Dictyostelium and cultured human neutrophils to show that lithium has a major effect on phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate (PIP3) signaling. This pathway may be important in the pathogenesis and treatment of bipolar disorder.

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