Abstract

Increases in plasma prolactin concentrations produced by alpha-methyl-p-tyrosine, a catecholamine synthesis inhibitor, varied inversely with baseline platelet monoamine oxidase activity in 12 patients with chronic schizophrenia. In normal volunteers with low monoamine oxidase activity and in unmedicated patients with chronic schizophrenia, plasma prolactin concentrations varied directly with platelet monoamine oxidase activity. No such relationship was found in normal subjects with high platelet monoamine oxidase activity. These data suggest that platelet monoamine oxidase activity reflects monoaminergic activity in the tubero-infundibular system, which in turn affects plasma prolactin concentrations. This relationship may be important in patients with low platelet monoamine oxidase activity, such as some chronic schizophrenics.

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