PMID: 3790625Dec 1, 1986

Abnormalities of one-carbon metabolism in psychiatric disorders: study of methionine adenosyltransferase kinetics and lipid composition of erythrocyte membranes

Biological Psychiatry
J R SmythiesW G Walter-Ryan


Two independent lines of inquiry have implicated some disturbance of one-carbon cycle metabolism in affective disorders. Folic acid deficiency commonly leads to depression, and S-adenosylmethionine has been reported to have antidepressant properties. Methionine adenosyltransferase has been reported to be underactive in depression and schizophrenia and overactive in mania. This study reports the effects on erythrocyte methionine adenosyltransferase (MAT) kinetics (Vmax) of a 2-week treatment in a population of patients housed on a psychiatric research ward. The drug-free schizophrenic patients and depressives had, upon admission, low Vmax values, and the drug-free manic patients had high Vmax values on admission. After 2 weeks of appropriate treatment, the values for all three patient samples showed significant normalization (i.e., the levels rose in schizophrenics and depressives and fell in manics). We have further shown that pretreatment low levels of erythrocyte membrane phosphatidylcholine in depressives and high levels in manics show statistically significant normalization following 2 weeks of pharmacotherapy. The significance of these results is discussed.


Nov 1, 1985·Journal of Affective Disorders·R D AlarconJ R Smythies
Sep 5, 1980·Science·F Hirata, J Axelrod
Jul 1, 1980·Archives of General Psychiatry·M A SchlesserB M Sherman
Jan 1, 1963·Postgraduate Medical Journal·J R Smythies
Apr 1, 1952·The Journal of Mental Science·H OSMOND, J R Smythies


Jan 1, 1995·Journal of Neural Transmission. General Section·B ReglandM Medhus
Jan 1, 1994·Journal of Neural Transmission. General Section·B ReglandC G Gottfries
Jan 1, 1997·Journal of Neural Transmission·B ReglandA C Koch-Schmidt
Dec 15, 1990·Biological Psychiatry·L C TolbertR D Alarcon
Dec 1, 1994·European Neuropsychopharmacology : the Journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology·C G TrolinL Oreland
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Aug 13, 2005·Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry·B Regland
Jan 15, 1997·Biological Psychiatry·J R SmythiesB Regland
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Jul 6, 2012·Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Revue Canadienne De Psychiatrie·George I PapakostasNadia Iovieno

Related Concepts

Manic Disorder
Red Cell Ghost
Membrane Lipids
Methionine Adenosyltransferase
Schizophreniform Disorders
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