schizophrenia, cortex, calbindin

Steven Roy Daviss sdaviss at COSY.AB.UMD.EDU
Wed Nov 17 09:49:08 EST 1993



On 17 Nov 1993, Scott Jensen wrote:

> 
> 	I am currently doing research on the anatomical, physiological, and
> pharmacological alterations in schizophernia.  My psychology professor said
> that there were histological changes in the neuroanatomy of schizophenics;
> however, he did not know if these changes were glial or neuronal in nature.  I
> would be very greatful for any (detailed) information that could be either sent
> to me by E-mail or posted.  
> 
>                               Scott (Da Wiez) Jensen        /\_/\
>                               E-Mail:sjensen at cc.weber.edu  | O O |
>                               Weber State University        \   /

As this question may be of interest to others, I have posted this to the
group (rather than individually to Scott):


A number of brain areas have been examined in schizophrenia--mostly
hippocampus, temporal lobe, and prefrontal cortex.  Off the top of my
head, histological findings have included evidence of the presence of gliosis,
absence of gliosis, cortical atrophy/hypoplasia, pyramidal cell
disorientation, decreased density of nonpyramidal neurons, increased
density of nonpyramidal neurons, increased density of pyramidal neurons,
and decreased total number of neurons.

Caveats in the interpretation of the literature have included the usual
confounding culprits: postmortem interval, age, sex, neuroleptic exposure,
institutionalization/chronicity, fixative artifact, diagnosis,
comorbidity, agonal state, "biased" counting methods, etc.

Francine Benes published a 1991 Arch Gen Psyc report describing a
decreased density of small neurons in superficial layers of anterior
cingulate and prefrontal cortices of schizophrenics, with no change in
density of glial cells.

Since then, two groups have reported an *increased* density of neurons in
prefrontal cortex.  Lynn Selemon in Pat Goldman-Rakic's lab has reported a
thinner cortex and an increased density of pyramidal and nonpyramidal
neurons (with no change in glial cell density) in schizophrenics.  They
used a 3-dimensional counting technique to count the Nissl-stained cells.
(Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 1993, 84.6)

David Lewis (Univ Pittsburgh) and I have reported an *increased* density in
schizophrenics (compared to controls individually matched for age, sex,
and PMI) of a *subpopulation* of nonpyramidal neurons in prefrontal
cortex (cytoarchitectonically-identified areas 9 and 46).  While we did
not use stereological techniques, we applied the same methodology to count
TWO different subpopulations of nonpyramidal neurons--those immunoreactive
for CALBINDIN and for CALRETININ.  (See Lund and Lewis, JCN, 1993, for
description of these in primates.)  We found that calbindin-ir neurons
were 50-70% increased in density, while the calretinin-ir neurons were
only 10-20% increased, in the setting of an 8-15% decrease in cortical
thickness. (Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 1993, 84.9)

It remains to be seen whether this change in the density of this
subpopulation of GABAergic neurons is related to neuroleptic exposure,
cortical area, or intracellular concentrations of calbindin.

		-Steve


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 Steven R. Daviss, MD                  Internet: sdaviss at cosy.ab.umd.edu 
 Maryland Psychiatric Research Center              Voice: (410) 455-7624 
 PO Box 21247,  Baltimore, MD 21228 USA              Fax: (410) 455-7527 
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