Monoamine oxidase activity in blood platelets was measured, with [ 14C]tryptamine as substrate, in 13 monozygotic twin pairs discordant for schizophrenia and in 23 normal volunteers. The monoamine oxidase activity of both schizophrenic and nonschizophrenic co-twins was significantly lower than it was for the normals, and it was highly correlated between twins. In addition, there was a significant inverse correlation between a measure of the degree of the schizophrenic disorder and the monoamine oxidase activity. These data suggest, but do not prove, that reduced platelet monoamine oxidase activity may provide a genetic marker for vulnerability to schizophrenia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas