Stereological studies of capillary length density in the frontal cortex of schizophrenics
- 310 Downloads
The presence of microvasculature abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics was proposed in a recent study of molecular signatures of schizophrenia [Prabakaran et al (2004) Mol Psychiat 9:684–697]. To assess this possibility further, we investigated capillary length densities in prefrontal cortex area 9 and anterior cingulate cortex area 24 in postmortem brains from 13 schizophrenics and 13 age- and sex-matched controls. To check that our sample of brains shared cardinal neuropathological features of schizophrenia with previously reported case studies, we also measured cortical gray matter volumes and cortical thickness in areas 9 and 24. The mean cortical gray matter volume was significantly reduced in brains from schizophrenics compared to controls. Mean cortical thickness was significantly reduced in area 24, but not in area 9, in schizophrenics. There were no differences in mean capillary length densities in either area 9 or 24 between the two groups. Thus, alterations in capillary length density in the prefrontal cortex cannot be considered a general feature of schizophrenia. Compromised brain metabolism and occurrence of oxidative stress in the brain of schizophrenics are likely caused by other mechanisms.
KeywordsSchizophrenia Stereology Cortical thickness Cortical gray matter Microvasculature
The authors thank G. Greene and B. Boehringer (MicroBrightField, Williston, VT) for valuable help in implementing the “Space balls” method. This study was supported by the Stanley Medical Research Institute (grant no. 02R-258 to H.H., P.R.H. and C.S.), by the European Community (Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources, QLK6-CT-2000-60042, QLK6-GH-00-60042-46, to P.K.), and NIH grant MH66392 (to P.R.H.). R.S.K. was an investigator at the Cerebral Vascular Disease Research Center (NIH grant NS05820). P.R.H. is the Regenstreif Professor of Neuroscience.
- 1.Andreasen NC, Rezai K, Alliger R, Swayze VW, Flaum M, Kirchner P, et al (1992) Hypofrontality in neuroleptic-naive patients and in patients with chronic schizophrenia. Assessment with xenon 133 single-photon emission computed tomography and the Tower of London. Arch Gen Psychiatry 49:943–958PubMedGoogle Scholar
- 6.Brodmann K (1909) Vergleichende Lokalisationslehre der Großhirnrinde. Barth, LeipzigGoogle Scholar
- 9.Cavalieri B (1635) Geometria indivisibilibus continuorum. Typis Clementis Ferronij, Bononiae (reprinted 1966 as Geometria Degli Indivisibili. Unione Tipografico-Editrice Torinese, Torino)Google Scholar
- 19.Harrison PJ, Weinberger DR (2004) Schizophrenia genes, gene expression, and neuropathology: on the matter of their convergence. Mol Psychiatry: advance online publication, 20 July 2004, doi:10.1038/sj.mp.4001558Google Scholar
- 20.Heinsen H, Heinsen YL (1991) Serial thick, frozen, gallocyanin stained sections of human central nervous system. J Histotechnol 14:167–173Google Scholar
- 22.Heinsen H, Henn R, Eisenmenger W, Gotz M, Bohl J, Bethke B, et al (1994) Quantitative investigations on the human entorhinal area: left—right asymmetry and age-related changes. Anat Embryol (Berl) 190:181–194Google Scholar
- 23.Heinsen H, Arzberger T, Schmitz C (2000) Celloidin mounting (embedding without infiltration)—a new, simple and reliable method for producing serial sections of high thickness through complete human brains and its application to stereological and immunohistochemical investigations. J Chem Neuroanat 20:49–59CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 54.Von Economo C, Koskinas GN (1925) Die Cytoarchitekonik der Hirnrinde des erwachsenen Menschen. Julius Springer, Wien, BerlinGoogle Scholar