Faculty: Peter P. Li, PhD

Peter P. Li, PhDPeter P. Li, PhD
Associate Professor

General Research Area: Neuropharmacology; Signal Transduction Mechanisms; Gene Expression
Molecular Mechanisms of Action of Mood Stabilizing and Antidepressant Drugs

Despite the widespread acceptance on the clinical effectiveness of antidepressant and mood stabilizing agents in the treatment of affective disorders, the precise mechanism of their therapeutic efficacies remains unknown. The overall objective of our research program is to examine the molecular processes underlying signal transduction across neuronal membranes as target loci underlying their therapeutic effects. We are especially interested in investigating the roles of various postreceptor signaling components including G proteins, effector enzymes, protein kinases, transcriptional factors, and gene expression to improve our knowledge at the molecular level of the mechanism(s) underlying their therapeutic effects. Furthermore, such information might enhance our understanding of the biochemical causes of affective disorders and lead to the development of new treatment strategy for these common psychiatric diseases.

Selected Publications

Perova T, Wasserman MJ, Li PP, Warsh JJ. Hyperactive intracellular calcium mobilization in B lymphoblasts from patients with bipolar I disorder. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol.2008 Apr; 11(2):185-96 Epub 2007 Aug 6.

Xu C, Li PP, Kennedy JL, Green M, Hughes B, Cooke RG, Parikh SV, Warsh JJ. Further support for association of the mitochondrial complex I subunit gene NDUFV2 with bipolar disorder. Bipolar Dis. 2008; 10(1):105-10.

So J, Warsh JJ and Li PP. Impaired endoplasmic reticulum stress response in B-lymphoblasts from patients with Bipolar-I disorder. Biol Psychiat. 2007; 62:141-147.

Xu C, Macciardi F, Li PP, Yoon I-S, Cooke R, Hughes B, Parihk SV, McIntyre RS, Kennedy J, Warsh JJ. Association of the putative susceptibility gene, Transient Receptor Potential Protein Melastatin Type 2, with Bipolar disorder. Am J Med Genetics B Neuropsychiatr Gen. 2006; 141:36-43.

Zhao C, Lai, JS, Warsh JJ and Li PP. Gas sensitizes human SH-SY5Y cells to apoptosis independent of the protein kinase A pathway. J Neurosci Res. 2006; 84:389-397.

Lai JS, Zhao C, Warsh JJ and Li PP. Cytoprotection by lithium and valproate varies between cell types and cellular stresses. Eur J Pharmacol. 2006; 539:18-26.

Li PP. Transcriptional mechanisms of lithium action: Therapeutic implications. Clin Neurosci Res. 2004; 4:271-280.

Warsh JJ, Andreopoulos S and Li PP. Role of intracellular calcium signaling in the pathophysiology and pharmacotherapy of bipolar disorder: current status, Clin Neurosci Res. 2004; 4:201-213.


Centre for Addiction & Mental Health 
Clarke Division 
Laboratory of Cellular & Molecular Pathophysiology
250 College Street 
Toronto, Ontario 
M5T 1R8 
Phone: [416]535-8501 X4984 
FAX: [416]979-4730 
Email: peter.li@utoronto.ca

Back to Top