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World J Biol Psychiatry. 2010 Apr;11(3):556-66. doi: 10.3109/15622970903497936.

Reduced density of ADAM 12-immunoreactive oligodendrocytes in the anterior cingulate white matter of patients with schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Magdeburg, Leipziger Strasse 44, Magdeburg, Germany.



Abnormalities of brain white matter and oligodendroglia are replicated findings in schizophrenia research. The largely oligodendroglia-associated enzyme ADAM (A disintegrin and metalloprotease) 12 might be involved in the patho-physiology of schizophrenia, because the gene coding for human ADAM12 is located on chromosome 10q26.3, a gene locus which has been linked to schizophrenia, and some of its putative substrates are altered in schizophrenia.


We studied the numerical density of ADAM12 expressing oligodendrocytes in post-mortem prefrontal brains of patients with haloperidol treated, chronic schizophrenia and matched controls.


A significantly reduced numerical density of ADAM12 immunoreactive oligodendrocytes was found in the white matter of the anterior cingulate cortex of schizophrenic patients.


Although the pathophysiological implications of this finding are currently unknown, it is well conveyable that reduced ADAM12 protein contributes to a deviant metabolism of some of its substrates. These substrates are either parts of important signalling cascades (EGF, betacellulin, TGF-beta) or chemical components of myelin (neurofascin-ankyrin) known to be compromised in schizophrenia.

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