Effects of antipsychotic treatment on membrane phospholipid metabolism in schizophrenia

Schmitt, A.; Maras, A.; Petroianu, G.; Braus, D. F.; Scheuer, L.; Gattaz, W. F.
September 2001
Journal of Neural Transmission;Sep2001, Vol. 108 Issue 8/9, p1081
Academic Journal
Summary. Several studies have shown an increased membrane phospholipid turnover in brain and blood cells of schizophrenic patients. However the specificity of these findings for schizophrenia and the effects of longterm antipsychotic treatment had yet to be demonstrated. In the present study we measured the concentrations of phospholipids in platelet membranes from 67 neuroleptic-free schizophrenic patients compared to both healthy and psychiatric controls, followed by repeated measurements during a 6 months antipsychotic treatment period. At baseline, levels of the main phospholipid components phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) were decreased and lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC), a major breakdown product of phospholipid metabolism, was increased in schizophrenic patients compared to healthy and to psychiatric controls, suggesting a specificity of the findings for schizophrenia. During the first 3-weeks on antipsychotic drug treatment LPC levels decreased to control values, but increased again during the following 6 months, reaching significantly higher levels than controls at the end of this period. Thus, at least in peripheral cells an increased breakdown of phospholipids in schizophrenia appears to be present during the acute episode, being influenced only by initial antipsychotic treatment, but without evidence of a long lasting treatment effect on membrane metabolism.


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