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J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2008 Mar;33(2):102-10.

Implication of the polyamine system in mental disorders.

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McGill Group for Suicide Studies, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montréal, Que., Canada.


The polyamine pathway has an essential role in many cellular functions and has been implicated in several pathological conditions. Accumulating evidence suggests that the polyamine system also plays a role in the etiology and pathology of mental disorders. Alterations in the expression and activity of polyamine metabolic enzymes, as well as changes in the levels of the individual polyamines, have been observed in multiple conditions, including schizophrenia, mood disorders, anxiety and suicidal behaviour. Additionally, these components have been found to be altered by various psychiatric treatments. Further, the polyamines and their precursors have demonstrated both antidepressant and anxiolytic effects. Overall, findings to date suggest that the polyamine pathway represents an important frontier for the development of neuropharmacological treatments.


depression; mental disorders; polyamines; schizophrenia; stress; suicide

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