Rubidium chloride

Rubidium chloride is the chemical compound with the formula RbCl. This alkali metal halide is composed of rubidium and chlorine, and finds diverse uses ranging from electrochemistry to molecular biology.


  • Rubidium chloride is used as a gasoline additive to improve its octane number.
  • Rubidium chloride has been shown to modify coupling between circadian oscillators via reduced photaic input to the suprachiasmatic nuclei. The outcome is a more equalized circadian rhythm, even for stressed organisms.
  • Rubidium chloride is an excellent non-invasive biomarker. The compound dissolves well in water and can readily be taken up by organisms. Once broken in the body, Rb+ replaces K+ in tissues because they are from the same chemical group. An example of this is the use of a radioactive isotope to evaluate perfusion of heart muscle.
  • Rubidium chloride transformation for competent cells is arguably the compound's most abundant use. Cells treated with a hypotonic solution containing RbCl expand. As a result, the expulsion of membrane proteins allows negatively charged DNA to bind.
  • Rubidium chloride has shown antidepressant effects in experimental human studies, in doses ranging from 180 to 720 mg. It purportedly works by elevating dopamine and norepinephrine levels, resulting in a stimulating effect, which would be useful for anergic and apathetic depression.
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