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Biol Psychiatry. 2015 Sep 15;78(6):374-85. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.12.029. Epub 2015 Jan 30.

Loss of Microtubule-Associated Protein 2 Immunoreactivity Linked to Dendritic Spine Loss in Schizophrenia.

Author information

1
Translational Neuroscience Program, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
2
Department of Statistics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
3
Translational Neuroscience Program, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
4
Translational Neuroscience Program, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Translational Neuropsychiatry Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark; Centre for Stochastic Geometry and Advanced Bioimaging, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
5
Department of Physiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.
6
Translational Neuroscience Program, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Neurology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Electronic address: sweetra@upmc.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) is a neuronal protein that plays a role in maintaining dendritic structure through its interaction with microtubules. In schizophrenia (Sz), numerous studies have revealed that the typically robust immunoreactivity (IR) of MAP2 is significantly reduced across several cortical regions. The relationship between MAP2-IR reduction and lower dendritic spine density, which is frequently reported in Sz, has not been explored in previous studies, and MAP2-IR loss has not been investigated in the primary auditory cortex (Brodmann area 41), a site of conserved pathology in Sz.

METHODS:

Using quantitative spinning disk confocal microscopy in two cohorts of subjects with Sz and matched control subjects (Sz subjects, n = 20; control subjects, n = 20), we measured MAP2-IR and dendritic spine density and spine number in deep layer 3 of BA41.

RESULTS:

Subjects with Sz exhibited a significant reduction in MAP2-IR. The reductions in MAP2-IR were not associated with neuron loss, loss of MAP2 protein, clinical confounders, or technical factors. Dendritic spine density and number also were reduced in Sz and correlated with MAP2-IR. In 12 (60%) subjects with Sz, MAP2-IR values were lower than the lowest values in control subjects; only in this group were spine density and number significantly reduced.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings demonstrate that MAP2-IR loss is closely linked to dendritic spine pathology in Sz. Because MAP2 shares substantial sequence, regulatory, and functional homology with MAP tau, the wealth of knowledge regarding tau biology and the rapidly expanding field of tau therapeutics provide resources for identifying how MAP2 is altered in Sz and possible leads to novel therapeutics.

KEYWORDS:

Auditory cortex; Confocal microscopy; Dendritic spines; Microtubule-Associated Protein 2; Postmortem human tissue; Schizophrenia

PMID:
25818630
PMCID:
PMC4520801
DOI:
10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.12.029
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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