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, 25 (1-2), 155-65

Monoamine Oxidase Expression During Development and Aging


Monoamine Oxidase Expression During Development and Aging

Antonietta Nicotra et al. Neurotoxicology.


Monoamine oxidase (MAO) isoenzymes play a major role in regulating the concentration of several bioactive amines, including serotonin and catecholamines. Both in the nervous system and in peripheral organs, MAOs can potentially modulate all the processes involving these bioactive amines. In the present article, we review some of the most significant articles published so far on changes in MAOs during development and aging. The data available on development refer mainly to the mammal brain at fetal and post-fetal stages. Very little work has been done on studying MAO ontogenesis during early development, that is, at stages prior to organogenesis, and what has been done refers to non-mammal vertebrates such as fish, amphibians and birds. MAO A and MAO B changes have been measured as values of enzymatic activity, as amount of protein or, more rarely, as amount of mRNAs. A knowledge of MAO developmental changes not only provides a basis for the investigation of factors regulating MAO expression, but can also contribute to a better understanding of the possible trophic and/or morphogenetic role of monoaminergic neurotransmitters in the developing brain. Transgenic mice lacking MAO A and rodents treated with MAO inhibitors during gestation have been very useful in this second case. The investigations of changes in MAO A and MAO B during aging in the literature refer mostly to humans, mice and rats. Interest in studies on aging is stimulated, among other things, by the observation that age-related diseases leading to neurodegenerative phenomena could be accompanied by changes in MAO activity.

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