The Relationship between Impaired Methylnicotinate Response and Oxidative Stress in Schizophrenia


MNA response applied methylnicotinate (MNA) results in an arachidonic acid and cyclooxygenase-dependent vasodilatatory response which is diminished in patients with schizophrenia. This observation has been suggested to form the basis of a diagnostic test for the illness although the potential utility of such a procedure is diminished since the underlying mechanism is unclear. In this study we sought to discover if reduced MNA response in schizophrenia is related to increased oxidative stress i.e. whether or not the two measures are negatively correlated with each other. MNA response was assessed visually in 17 patients with schizophrenia and 16 healthy controls and compared to the extent of oxidative stress in each participant assessed by quantifying the lipid peroxidation product ethane in breath. Serum vitamin E, a lipid soluble antioxidant, concentrations was also assessed. While MNA response was correlated with breath ethane concentrations, the expected relationship between the two measures was not observed. Instead a positive relationship between them suggests that some patients with schizophrenia have impaired fatty acid utilization leading to both diminished lipid peroxidation and cyclo-oygenation. This was not related to vitamin E concentrations, however, suggesting that lipid soluble anti-oxidant availability did not underlie our findings. Our data shed further light on the mechanism of impaired MNA response in schizophrenia and support the notion that this occurs consequent to a change in lipid metabolism.

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Ross, B. and Glen, I. (2014) The Relationship between Impaired Methylnicotinate Response and Oxidative Stress in Schizophrenia. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 4, 141-146. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2014.42018.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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