IMR Press / FBE / Volume 3 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/E246

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Alterations of primary fatty acid amides in serum of patients with severe mental illness
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1 Institute of Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1QT, UK
2 Proteomics and Functional Genomics Research Group, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
3 Division for Simulation of Biological Systems, Center for Bioinformatics, Eberhard-Karls University, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany
4 Waters Corporation, Atlas Park, Manchester, M22 5PP, UK
5 Central Institute of Mental Health, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany 6Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 0FD, UK

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2011, 3(1), 308–314;
Published: 1 January 2011

Cannabis consumption is a well known risk factor for the onset of schizophrenia and evidence accumulates that the endocannabinoid system may play a central role in the disease etiology. Using a clinical bioinformatics approach, we have previously found primary fatty acid amides, which are linked to the endocannabinoid system, to be elevated in drug naive schizophrenia and affective disorder. Here, we provide a detailed description of these findings and expand the investigation by analyzing serum from 74 patients after short term treatment with antipsychotic medication using a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) metabolomics approach. We show that primary fatty acid amide (pFAA) levels normalize after treatment with typical but not after treatment with atypical antipsychotic medication. Also, the comparison of pFAA levels in schizophrenia patients to those of sleep deprived healthy volunteers suggests that pFAA abnormalities were not related to changes in the sleep architecture of patients with mental illness. Our findings support the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the pathology of schizophrenia.

Affective Disorder
Primary Fatty Acid Amides
Endocannabinoid System
Mass Spectrometry
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