Spatial distribution and density of oligodendrocytes in the cingulum bundle are unaltered in schizophrenia.

Devorah Segal, Christoph Schmitz, Patrick R. Hof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

It has been proposed that schizophrenia results partly from altered brain connectivity. Gene microarray analyses performed in gray matter have indicated that several myelin-related genes normally expressed in oligodendrocytes have decreased expression levels in schizophrenia. These data suggest that oligodendrocytes may be involved in the deficits of schizophrenia and may be decreased in number in the case of disease. The anterior cingulate cortex in particular has been demonstrated to be affected in schizophrenia, with studies reporting altered neuronal arrangement, decreased anisotropy in diffusion tensor images, and hypometabolism. We used a stereologic nearest-neighbor estimator of spatial distribution to investigate oligodendrocytes in the anterior cingulum bundle using postmortem tissue from 13 chronic schizophrenics and 13 age-matched controls. Using a spatial point pattern analysis, we measured the degree of oligodendrocyte clustering by comparing the probability of finding a nearest-neighbor at a given distance in schizophrenics and controls. At the same time, we also estimated the number and density of oligodendrocytes in the region of interest. In the present study, we found no significant differences in the oligodendrocyte distribution or density in the cingulum bundle between the two groups, in contrast to earlier data from the prefrontal subcortical white matter. These results suggest that a subtler oligodendrocyte or myelin anomaly may underlie the structural deficits observed by brain imaging in the cingulum bundle in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-394
Number of pages10
JournalActa Neuropathologica
Volume117
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2009

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