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Acta Neuropathol. 2009 Apr;117(4):395-407. doi: 10.1007/s00401-008-0430-y. Epub 2008 Sep 6.

Stereologic investigation of the posterior part of the hippocampus in schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Goettingen, von-Siebold Str. 5, 37075, Göttingen, Germany.


Structural magnetic resonance imaging and postmortem studies showed volume loss in the hippocampus in schizophrenia. The noted tissue reduction in the posterior section suggests that some cellular subfractions within this structure might be reduced in schizophrenia. To address this, we investigated numbers and densities of neurons, oligodendrocytes and astrocytes in the posterior hippocampal subregions in postmortem brains from ten patients with schizophrenia and ten matched controls using design-based stereology performed on Nissl-stained sections. Compared to the controls, the patients with schizophrenia showed a significant decrease in the mean number of oligodendrocytes in the left and right CA4. This is the first finding of reduced numbers of oligodendrocytes in CA4 of the posterior part of the hippocampus in schizophrenia. Our results are in line with earlier findings in the literature concerning decreased numbers of oligodendrocytes in the prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia. Our results may indicate disturbed connectivity of the CA4 of the posterior part of the hippocampus in schizophrenia and, thus, contribute to the growing number of studies showing the involvement of posterior hippocampal pathology in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

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