Faculty: Peter P. Li, PhD

Dr. Peter Li

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

Roedding AS, Tong SY, Au-Yeung W, Li PP, Warsh JJ. Chronic oxidative stress modulates TRPC3 and TRPM2 channel expression and function in rat primary cortical neurons: relevance to the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder. Brain Res. 1517:16-27 (2013).
Roedding AS, Gao AF, Au-Yeung W, Scarcelli T, Li PP, Warsh JJ. Effect of oxidative stress on TRPM2 and TRPC3 channels in B lymphoblast cells in bipolar disorder.  Bipolar Disorders. 14:151-161 (2012)
Uemura T, Green M, Corson TW, Perova T, Li PP, Warsh JJ. Bcl-2 SNP rs956572 associates with disrupted intracellular calcium homeostasis in bipolar I disorder. Bipolar Disorders 13:41-51 (2011)
Perova T, Kwan M, Li PP, Warsh JJ. Differential modulation of intracellular Ca2+ responses in B lymphoblasts by mood stabilizers. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 13:693-702 (2010)
Xu C, Li PP, Cooke RG, Parikh SV, Kennedy JL, Warsh JJ. Genetic Evaluation of TRPM2 Variants and Bipolar Disorder Risk:  Confirmation in a Family-based Association Study. Bipolar Disorders, 11:1-10, 2009
Perova T, Wasserman MJ, Li PP, Warsh JJ. Hyperactive intracellular calcium mobilization in B lymphoblasts from patients with bipolar I disorder. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol., 11:185-196, 2008
So J, Warsh JJ and Li PP. Impaired endoplasmic reticulum stress response in B-lymphoblasts from patients with Bipolar-I disorder. Biol Psychiatry, 62:141-147, 2007.
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., 84:389-397, 2006.
Lai, JS, Zhao C, Warsh JJ and Li PP. Cytoprotection by lithium and valproate varies between cell types and cellular stresses. Eur J Pharmacol., 539:18-26, 2006.

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

11.   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., 4:201-213, 2004.


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