Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Apr 15;63(8):759-65. Epub 2007 Oct 22.

Effect of chronic antipsychotic exposure on astrocyte and oligodendrocyte numbers in macaque monkeys.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.



Both in vivo and postmortem studies suggest that oligodendrocyte and myelination alterations are present in individuals with schizophrenia. However, it is unclear whether prolonged treatment with antipsychotic medications contributes to these disturbances. We recently reported that chronic exposure of macaque monkeys to haloperidol or olanzapine was associated with a 10%-18% lower glial cell number in the parietal grey matter. Consequently, in this study we sought to determine whether the lower glial cell number was due to fewer oligodendrocytes as opposed to lower numbers of astrocytes.


With fluorescent immunocytochemical techniques, we optimized the visualization of each cell type throughout the entire thickness of tissue sections, while minimizing final tissue shrinkage. As a result, we were able to obtain robust stereological estimates of total oligodendrocyte and astrocyte numbers in the parietal grey matter with the optical fractionator method.


We found a significant 20.5% lower astrocyte number with a non-significant 12.9% lower oligodendrocyte number in the antipsychotic-exposed monkeys. Similar effects were seen in both the haloperidol and olanzapine groups.


These findings suggest that studies investigating glial cell alterations in schizophrenia must take into account the effect of antipsychotic treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk