Relationship between monoamine oxidase (MAO) A specific activity and proportion of human skin fibroblasts which express the enzyme in culture

  • R. M. Denney
Part of the Journal of Neural Transmission. Supplement book series (NEURAL SUPPL, volume 52)


Total deficiency of monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) in affected males of a single, human kindred appears to be associated with mild mental retardation and significant behavioral anomalies. Though total MAO-A deficiency appears to be rare, the extent and significance of individual variation in monoamine oxidase A activity in human populations is unclear. Since MAOA activity is undetectable in blood cells, most systematic surveys of individual variation MAO-A activity have compared enzyme activity in human fibroblasts cultured from skin biopsies. Surprisingly, MAO-A activity in skin fibroblast cultures from unrelated donors ranges over 100-fold. It has been suggested that this extreme variation in fibroblast MAO-A activity between donors reflects individual, genetic variation in the regulation of MAO-A in fibroblasts. I have found from studies with immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry that the proportion of MAO-A+ cells in fibroblast cultures is (a) highly variable between cultures, (b) a reproducible characteristic of each culture and (c) the primary factor responsible for variation in MAO-A specific activity in whole cell, skin fibroblast homogenates. It has been shown previously that MAO-A activity of a skin fibroblast culture is relatively constant with continued passage prior to cellular senescence. Therefore, these new data raise the possibility that MAO-A expression is confined to a functionally distinct subset of human skin fibroblasts.


Monoamine Oxidase Skin Fibroblast Human Skin Fibroblast Skin Fibroblast Culture Monoamine Oxidase Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



monoamine oxidase


restriction enzyme length polymorphism


rhodamine isothiocyanate


phosphate-buffered saline


PBS containing 5mg/ml bovine serum albumin


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. Denney
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Department of Human Biological Chemistry and GeneticsUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA
  2. 2.Graduate School of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA

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