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Schizophr Res. 1993 Jan;8(3):233-43.

Abnormal serine-glycine metabolism in the brains of schizophrenics.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City 52242.


The metabolism of serine and glycine as studied in the plasma is abnormal in schizophrenics and psychotics. There is a concomitant abnormality of the enzyme serine hydroxymethyl transferase (SHMT). To study the status of serine-glycine metabolism in brains of schizophrenics and controls, frozen autopsied brain tissues were obtained from medial and lateral temporal lobes. The results show that the apparent Km of SHMT and the concentrations of serine and glycine are significantly higher only in the medial temporal lobe areas of schizophrenics when compared to controls. These findings are discussed in the context of the role of glycine and serine as enhancers of glutamatergic excitotoxicity and consequent development of morphological abnormalities in the brains of schizophrenics.

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