Relationship between monoamine oxidase (MAO) A specific activity and proportion of human skin fibroblasts which express the enzyme in culture
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.
KeywordsMonoamine Oxidase Skin Fibroblast Human Skin Fibroblast Skin Fibroblast Culture Monoamine Oxidase Activity
restriction enzyme length polymorphism
PBS containing 5mg/ml bovine serum albumin
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