Mahadik, S.P.; Mukherjee, S.; Horrobin, D.F.; Jenkins, K.; Correnti, E.E.; Scheffer, R.E.
Plasma membrane phospholipid fatty acid composition of cultured skin fibroblasts from schizophrenic patients: Comparison with bipolar patients and normal subjects
Psychiatry Research 1996; 63(2-3): 133-142.


Recent studies have found lower red cell plasma membrane contents and composition of the long chain polyunsaturated essential fatty acid derivatives, particularly arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, in a subgroup of chronic schizophrenic patients. These fatty acids are particularly enriched in the brain. Red blood cell levels of fatty acids are influenced by diet, medications, and other factors. Cell plasma membrane compositions of arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids were therefore examined in cultured skin fibroblasts from 12 schizophrenic patients, 8 of whom were drug-naive and in a first episode of psychosis, 6 bipolar patients, and 8 normal control subjects. Docosahexaenoic acid as well as total n-3 essential fatty acid contents were significantly lower in cell lines from schizophrenic patients than in cell lines from bipolar patients and normal subjects, with no difference between the latter two groups. Arachidonic acid levels did not differ across the groups. The essential fatty acid profile observed is consistent with deficient delta-4 desaturase activity in schizophrenic patients.

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