Psychological Medicine

Research Article

Erythrocyte membrane cation carrier in mania

G. J. Naylora1 c1, D. A. T. Dicka1, E. G. Dicka1, E. P. Worralla1 p1, M. Peeta1 p2, P. Dicka1 and L. J. Boardmana1

a1 Departments of Psychiatry and Anatomy, The University, Dundee


Erythrocyte sodium and potassium concentrations, erythrocyte membrane ATPase (Na–K specific and non-specific) and the rate of potassium influx into erythrocytes (ouabainsensitive and insensitive) were estimated in a group of female patients suffering from mania and repeated on about two thirds of them when they had recovered. With recovery there was a statistically significant increase in the erythrocyte ouabain-sensitive potassium influx. The other parameters showed no significant overall change with recovery but the initial severity correlated significantly and negatively with the change in erythrocyte Na–K ATPase with recovery. The changes that occurred in the erythrocyte sodium concentration and Na–K ATPase activity were not random since they correlated significantly with changes in the active potassium influx.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr G. J. Naylor, Consultant Psychiatrist, Royal Dundee Liff Hospital, By Dundee DD2 5NF.

p1 Present address: Department of Psychological Medicine, The University, Glasgow.

p2 Present address: Organon Scientific Development Group, Organon, Oss, Holland.