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Over the past decade the study of neuropsychiatric diseases has focused on investigating the integrity of various neurotransmitter and second messenger systems. The most extensively studied second messenger system in both human and rodent tissues has been the adenylate cyclase complex. The search for alterations of adenylate cyclase activity in diseased human tissues ranging from postmortem human brain to isolated lymphocytes has been both fruitful and controversial. Discrepancies are apparent between studies investigating alterations in this system in the human brain and peripheral tissues. Animal studies have proved invaluable for the elucidation of the role of the various components of the adenylate cyclase complex (such as the G proteins) in central neurones. Such studies have also contributed to the elucidation of the effects of psychotropic agents on this system. Clearly, alterations in the functioning of the adenylate cyclase complex have been identified in most neuropsychiatric disorders. The significance of such findings in the study of neuropsychiatric disease will be discussed and also the validity of the various tissue systems used in these studies.


Journal article


Psychopharmacol Bull

Publication Date





477 - 500


Adenylyl Cyclases, Humans, Mental Disorders, Nervous System Diseases