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December 1990

An Analysis of Synapsin II, a Neuronal Phosphoprotein, in Postmortem Brain Tissue From Alcoholic and Neuropsychiatrically Ill Adults and Medically Ill Children and Young Adults

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, The Rockefeller University (Drs Grebb and Greengard), the Department of Psychiatry, New York University Medical Center (Dr Grebb), New York, NY, and the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY (Dr Grebb).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990;47(12):1149-1156. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810240069011

• Synapsin II (formerly known as protein III) is a synaptic vesicle—associated neuronal phosphoprotein that may be involved in the regulation of neurotransmitter release. Synapsin II was studied in postmortem brain samples from 132 individuals with various neuropsychiatric and medical diagnoses. Molecular weight variants of synapsin II were present in 73% of samples from alcoholic individuals but in only 31% of samples from nondiseased individuals, thus confirming our two previous reports of an association between synapsin II variants and alcoholism. The presence of synapsin II variants was not correlated with age or nutritional state. Synapsin II variants were also present in 56% of samples from individuals with schizophrenia and 41% of samples from individuals with Huntington's disease. Synapsin II variants were present in samples from children and young adults, consistent with the possibility that synapsin II variants may reflect a genetically inherited trait. Synapsin II variants were not found in any of 18 rodent models of alcoholism, aging, or vitamin B deficiency, suggesting that synapsin II variants may be a uniquely human trait.