Morphological Abnormalities in Nitric-Oxide-Synthase-Positive Striatal Interneurons of Schizophrenic PatientsLauer M. · Johannes S. · Fritzen S. · Senitz D. · Riederer P. · Reif A.
Department of Psychiatry, Julius Maximilian University Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
Schizophrenia has been suggested to be a neurodevelopmental disorder, and nitric-oxide-synthase (NOS)-positive neurons were shown to be involved in distorted cortical development in schizophrenia. Here we investigated whether nitrinergic neurons in the striatum of schizophrenic patients also display abnormalities regarding distribution or morphology. To do so, postmortem putaminal sections of schizophrenic subjects were examined by means of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase (NADPHd) staining and NOS immunohistochemistry. NOS-positive neurons were counted and analyzed morphologically. Abnormalities regarding morphology or number of NOS-containing neurons could be found in the putamen of schizophrenics (n = 3), but not controls (n = 5). Neurons were either of abnormal size and branching pattern, or they were markedly reduced (130 ± 44 vs. 54 ± 62 NADPHd-positive somata/mm3 putamen; p < 0.0001). Striatal nitrinergic interneurons might thus be involved in the pathogenesis of at least some forms of schizophrenia. Studies on larger samples are however needed to further corroborate this finding.
© 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel
Published online: August 17, 2005
Number of Print Pages : 7
Number of Figures : 3, Number of Tables : 1, Number of References : 35
Neuropsychobiology (International Journal of Experimental and Clinical Research in Biological Psychiatry, Pharmacopsychiatry, Biological Psychology/Pharmacopsychology and Pharmacoelectroencephalography)
Vol. 52, No. 3, Year 2005 (Cover Date: Released September 2005)
Journal Editor: Strik, W. (Bern)
ISSN: 0302–282X (Print), eISSN: 1423–0224 (Online)
For additional information: http://www.karger.com/nps