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Catechol O-Methyltransferase in Red Blood Cells of Schizophrenic, Depressed, and Normal Human Subjects

  • Helen L. White (a1), Malcolm N. McLeod (a2) and Jonathan R. T. Davidson (a3)


Catechol O-methyltransferase of lysed human red blood cells was assayed under optimal conditions, using saturating concentrations of the substrates, S-adenosyl-L-methionine and 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid. The mean enzyme activity found in 24 normal subjects was 29.2 nmol/hr/ml RBC. The mean activity in blood of 33 female unipolar depressives was not significantly different from normal. However, higher enzyme activities were observed in the blood of 11 schizophrenic patients (38.9 nmol/hr/ml RBC). Partially purified enzyme preparations from blood of normal and schizophrenic individuals were indistinguishable with respect to substrate specificities, isoelectric pH values, and ratios of the two O-methylated products. Therefore it is unlikely that any defect in O-methylation which may occur in schizophrenia can be attributed to a change in the intrinsic properties of erythrocyte catechol O-methyltransferase.



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Catechol O-Methyltransferase in Red Blood Cells of Schizophrenic, Depressed, and Normal Human Subjects

  • Helen L. White (a1), Malcolm N. McLeod (a2) and Jonathan R. T. Davidson (a3)
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