Platelet monoamine oxidase as a function of nongenetic factors

Schizophrenia Bulletin
A J Friedhoff, J C Miller


The level of platelet monoamine oxidase (MAO) has been found to be abnormally low in certain types of schizophrenia and in a number of other pathological conditions. It has been suggested that MAO in platelets may be a genetic marker for a subgroup of patients with schizophrenia; however, we have demonstrated that several nongenetic factors influence platelet MAO activity by affecting the platelet rather than the MAO enzyme protein. We have observed platelet MAO activities to be heterogeneously distributed in a given subject's platelet population, heavy platelet fractions having significantly higher specific activity than light platelet fractions. We have also found platelet MAO activity to be significantly correlated with mean platelet volume, platelet protein densities, and protein content per platelet. These changes, which might be induced by drugs and stress, could modify production, mobilization, and clearance of platelets and, hence, influence apparent MAO activity.

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