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June 1994

Activity of S-adenosylmethionine Decarboxylase, a Key Regulatory Enzyme in Polyamine Biosynthesis, Is Increased in Epileptogenic Human Cortex

Arch Neurol. 1994;51(6):581-584. doi:10.1001/archneur.1994.00540180059014

Objective:  We measured the activity of S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase, a key regulatory enzyme of polyamine biosynthesis, in the temporal cortex of patients with epilepsy.

Design:  Cortical surgical specimens were obtained following anterior temporal lobe resection for intractable epilepsy. Enzyme activity was compared in nonepileptogenic (n=16) and epileptogenic (spontaneously discharging; n=19) regions.

Results:  Mean enzyme activity was increased by 44% in samples from epileptogenic cortex compared with samples from nonepileptic regions. The S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase activity in regions of focal epileptogenic discharges was also increased in five patients compared with paired samples from the nonepileptogenic portion of the same gyrus (+ 55%).

Conclusions:  Elevated activity of S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase in regions of active epileptogenic cortical discharges suggests that a disturbance of the polyamine system may be involved in the maintenance of hypersynchronous discharges, perhaps through a modulatory action at the excitatory N-methyl-D-aspartate—preferring glutamate receptor.