Feature Finding Title
Featured Finding Figure
Although the somal volume of Nissl-stained deep layer 3 pyramidal cells is reduced in prefrontal cortex area 9 of subjects with schizophrenia, the subset of large pyramidal cells immunoreactive (IR) for nonphosphorylated neurofilament protein (NNFP) is not. Consequently, we hypothesized that the somal volume of another subset of pyramidal cells immunoreactive for neuronal calcium binding protein-1 (Necab-1) is significantly reduced in schizophrenia. We labeled Necab-1-IR pyramidal neurons using immunoperoxidase techniques and estimated the mean somal volume in deep layer 3 of area 9 in 13 matched pairs of control and schizophrenic subjects. Identical studies were conducted for pyramidal neurons immunoreactive for neuronal nuclear protein (Neu-N) which is present in all neurons. In subjects with schizophrenia, neither the mean somal volume of Necab-1-IR pyramidal neurons nor of Neu-N-IR pyramidal neurons was significantly different from control subjects. In addition, as shown in the Figure, the mean somal volume of Neu-N-IR cells was larger than that of Nissl-stained cells in both subject groups, and the magnitude of this difference was greater for the subjects with schizophrenia. These findings suggest that immunoperoxidase techniques are associated with an over-estimation of the volume of labeled neurons. This confound appears to interact with disease state, and thus obscures differences between diagnostic groups.
Maldonado-Avilés JG, Wu Q, Sampson A, Lewis DA: Somal size of immunolabeled pyramidal cells in the prefrontal cortex of subjects with schizophrenia. Biol Psych 60: 226-234, 2006.

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David A. Lewis, M.D. | Department of Psychiatry | University of Pittsburgh
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