Increased brain membrane fluidity in schizophrenia

Pharmacopsychiatry. 2011 Jun;44(4):161-2. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1279731. Epub 2011 Jun 27.


Recent findings showing significant correlations between phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity and structural changes in schizophrenic brains contribute to the membrane hypothesis of schizophrenia, which was hampered because a clean functional link between elevated PLA2 activity and brain structure was missing (Neuroimage, 2010; 52: 1314-1327). We measured membrane fluidity parameters and found that brain membranes isolated from the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenic patients showed significantly increased flexibility of fatty acid chains. Our findings support a possible link between elevated PLA2 activity in cortical areas of schizophrenic patients and subsequent alterations of the biophysical parameters of neuronal membranes leading to structural changes in these areas.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Fluidity*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurons / chemistry*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Prefrontal Cortex / chemistry*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / metabolism
  • Schizophrenia / metabolism*