Background: Nitro-oxidative stress (NOS) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders. The activity of the polymorphic antioxidant enzyme paraoxonase 1 (PON1) is altered in diseases where NOS is involved. PON1 activity may be estimated using different substrates some of which are influenced by PON1 polymorphisms.
Objectives: 1) to review the association between PON1 activities and psychiatric diseases using a standardized PON1 substrate terminology in order to offer a state-of-the-art review; 2) to review the efficacy of different strategies (nutrition, drugs, lifestyle) to enhance PON1 activities.
Methods: The PubMed database was searched using the terms paraoxonase 1 and psychiatric diseases. Moreover, the database was also searched for clinical trials investigating strategies to enhance PON1 activity.
Results: The studies support decreased PON1 activity as determined using phenylacetate (i.e., arylesterase or AREase) as substrate, in depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and schizophrenia, especially in antipsychotic-free patients. PON1 activity as determined with paraoxon (i.e., POase activity) yields more controversial results, which can be explained by the lack of adjustment for the Q192R polymorphism. The few clinical trials investigating the influence of nutritional, lifestyle and drugs on PON1 activities in the general population suggest that some polyphenols, oleic acid, Mediterranean diet, not smoking, being physically active and statins may be effective strategies that increase PON1 activity.
Conclusion: Lowered PON1 activities appear to be a key component in the ongoing NOS processes that accompany affective disorders, GAD and schizophrenia. Treatments increasing attenuated PON1 activity could possibly be new drug targets for treating these disorders.