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World J Biol Psychiatry. 2007;8(4):245-55.

The changes of AgNOR parameters of anterior cingulate pyramidal neurons are region-specific in suicidal and non-suicidal depressive patients.

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Institute of Forensic Medicine, Medical University of Gdask, Gdask, Poland.


The anterior cingulate cortex (AC) is consistently implicated in the pathophysiology of depression. While suicide has been shown in previous reports to be closely related to depression, it is still a distinct phenomenon. The aim to differentiate between depression and suicide was approached by the karyometric analysis of AC pyramidal neurons. The study was performed on paraffin-embedded brains from 20 depressive patients (10 of whom had committed suicide) and 24 matched controls. The karyometric parameters of the layer III and V pyramidal neurons of the dorsal and ventral AC were evaluated bilaterally by Argyrophilic Nucleolar Organiser (AgNOR) silver staining method. Control-specific was the increased nuclear area in ontogenetically younger pyramidal neurons layer III in the left dorsal compared with ventral AC (Wilcoxon test, P<0.01). The decreased AgNOR number per nucleus in these cells in the right ventral AC was depression-specific compared with controls (t-test, P=0.047). On the other hand, the diffuse decrease in AgNOR ratio throughout pyramidal neurons on the left side was specific for suicidal depressive patients compared with non-suicidal patients and controls (ANOVA, P=0.028). The results suggest that regionally differentiated depression- and suicide-specific disturbed function of the most important AC output cells exists in depressive patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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