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World J Biol Psychiatry. 2011 Dec;12(8):598-607. doi: 10.3109/15622975.2010.541283. Epub 2010 Dec 14.

Phospholipase A₂ activity in first episode schizophrenia: associations with symptom severity and outcome at week 12.

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Department of Psychiatry, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Jena, Germany.



Intracellular phospholipases A₂ (inPLA₂) are activated during monoaminergic neurotranismision and act as key enzymes in cell membrane repair and remodelling, neuroplasticity, neurodevelopment, apoptosis, synaptic pruning, neurodegenerative processes and neuroinflammation. Several independent studies found increased inPLA₂ activity in drug-naïve first episode and chronic schizophrenia. This study investigates if inPLA₂ activity is associated with symptoms severity and treatment response in first episode schizophrenia (FES).


InPLA₂ activity was measured in serum of 35 young FES patients (mean age: 19.36 ± 3.32, mean duration of illness: 7.53 ± 6.28 months, 16 neuroleptic-naïve) before and after 12 weeks of treatment with second-generation antipsychotic medications (olanzapine, quetiapine or risperidone), as well as in 22 healthy controls matched for age. Psychopathology and social functioning were assessed at the same time points.


Baseline inPLA₂ activity was significantly increased in drug-naïve and treated FES patients compared to healthy controls. Baseline inPLA₂ activity was also associated with severity of negative symptoms and lower functioning at baseline. Furthermore, baseline inPLA₂ activity was associated with improvement in negative symptoms and functioning within the first 12 weeks of treatment.


Intracellular PLA₂ activity is increased in first episode schizophrenia and associated with symptom severity and outcome after 12 weeks of treatment. Future studies should investigate the implications of inPLA₂ activity as a potential predictor of treatment response for different antipsychotic agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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