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Choline acetyltransferase in schizophrenia
Am J Psychiatry 1993;150:454-459.
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that schizophrenia involves altered cholinergic tone in the pons, the authors studied post-mortem brain tissue from subjects with schizophrenia. METHOD: The authors used Western immunoblot to measure the concentration of choline acetyltransferase, an acetylcholine synthesizing enzyme, in the post- mortem brain tissue of 25 schizophrenic subjects and 28 nonschizophrenic comparison subjects. They also measured the concentration of glial fibrillary acidic protein, a protein from astrocytes, to examine the question of neurodegeneration. RESULTS: The pontine choline acetyltransferase concentrations of the schizophrenic subjects were 46% lower than those of comparison subjects, a significant difference. Glial fibrillary acidic protein concentrations did not differ between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: The lower concentration of choline acetyltransferase in the pontine tegmentum of schizophrenic subjects compared with comparison subjects suggests involvement of pontine cholinergic neurons in schizophrenia.

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