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PloS one

Associations between purine metabolites and clinical symptoms in schizophrenia.


PMID 22916123

Abstract

The antioxidant defense system, which is known to be dysregulated in schizophrenia, is closely linked to the dynamics of purine pathway. Thus, alterations in the homeostatic balance in the purine pathway may be involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Breakdown products in purine pathway were measured using high-pressure liquid chromatography coupled with a coulometric multi-electrode array system for 25 first-episode neuroleptic-naïve patients with schizophrenia at baseline and at 4-weeks following initiation of treatment with antipsychotic medication. Associations between these metabolites and clinical and neurological symptoms were examined at both time points. The ratio of uric acid and guanine measured at baseline predicted clinical improvement following four weeks of treatment with antipsychotic medication. Baseline levels of purine metabolites also predicted clinical and neurological symtpoms recorded at baseline; level of guanosine was associated with degree of clinical thought disturbance, and the ratio of xanthosine to guanosine at baseline predicted degree of impairment in the repetition and sequencing of actions. Findings suggest an association between optimal levels of purine byproducts and dynamics in clinical symptoms and adjustment, as well as in the integrity of sensory and motor processing. Taken together, alterations in purine catabolism may have clinical relevance in schizophrenia pathology.