[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the past 25 years, research on the human brain has been providing a clear path toward understanding the pathophysiology of psychiatric illnesses. The successes that have been accrued are matched by significant difficulties identifying and controlling a large number of potential confounding variables. By systematically and effectively accounting for unwanted variance in data from imaging and postmortem human brain studies, meaningful and reliable information regarding the pathophysiology of human brain disorders can be obtained. This perspective paper focuses on postmortem investigations to discuss some of the most challenging sources of variance, including diagnosis, comorbidity, substance abuse and pharmacological treatment, which confound investigations of the human brain.
Schizophrenia Research 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2014.10.019 · 4.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined hippocampal volume as a putative biomarker for psychotic illness in the Bipolar-Schizophrenia Network on Intermediate Phenotypes (B-SNIP) psychosis sample, contrasting manual tracing and semiautomated (FreeSurfer) region-of-interest outcomes. The study sample (n = 596) included probands with schizophrenia (SZ, n = 71), schizoaffective disorder (SAD, n = 70), and psychotic bipolar I disorder (BDP, n = 86); their first-degree relatives (SZ-Rel, n = 74; SAD-Rel, n = 62; BDP-Rel, n = 88); and healthy controls (HC, n = 145). Hippocampal volumes were derived from 3Tesla T1-weighted MPRAGE images using manual tracing/3DSlicer3.6.3 and semiautomated parcellation/FreeSurfer5.1,64bit. Volumetric outcomes from both methodologies were contrasted in HC and probands and relatives across the 3 diagnoses, using mixed-effect regression models (SAS9.3 Proc MIXED); Pearson correlations between manual tracing and FreeSurfer outcomes were computed. SZ (P = .0007-.02) and SAD (P = .003-.14) had lower hippocampal volumes compared with HC, whereas BDP showed normal volumes bilaterally (P = .18-.55). All relative groups had hippocampal volumes not different from controls (P = .12-.97) and higher than those observed in probands (P = .003-.09), except for FreeSurfer measures in bipolar probands vs relatives (P = .64-.99). Outcomes from manual tracing and FreeSurfer showed direct, moderate to strong, correlations (r = .51-.73, P < .05). These findings from a large psychosis sample support decreased hippocampal volume as a putative biomarker for schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, but not for psychotic bipolar I disorder, and may reflect a cumulative effect of divergent primary disease processes and/or lifetime medication use. Manual tracing and semiautomated parcellation regional volumetric approaches may provide useful outcomes for defining measurable biomarkers underlying severe mental illness.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An increase in apoptotic events may underlie neuropathology in schizophrenia. By data-mining approaches, we identified significant expression changes in death receptor signaling pathways in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of patients with schizophrenia, particularly implicating the Tumor Necrosis Factor Superfamily member 6 (FAS) receptor and the Tumor Necrosis Factor [ligand] Superfamily member 13 (TNFSF13) in schizophrenia. We sought to confirm and replicate in an independent tissue collection the noted mRNA changes with quantitative real-time RT-PCR. To test for regional and diagnostic specificity, tissue from orbital frontal cortex (OFC) was examined and a bipolar disorder group included. In schizophrenia, we confirmed and replicated significantly increased expression of TNFSF13 mRNA in the DLPFC. Also, a significantly larger proportion of subjects in the schizophrenia group had elevated FAS receptor expression in the DLPFC relative to unaffected controls. These changes were not observed in the bipolar disorder group. In the OFC, there were no significant differences in TNFSF13 or FAS receptor mRNA expression. Decreases in BH3 interacting domain death agonist (BID) mRNA transcript levels were found in the schizophrenia and bipolar disorder groups affecting both the DLPFC and the OFC. We tested if TNFSF13 mRNA expression correlated with neuronal mRNAs in the DLPFC, and found significant negative correlations with interneuron markers, parvalbumin and somatostatin, and a positive correlation with PPP1R9B (spinophilin), but not DLG4 (PSD-95). The expression of TNFSF13 mRNA in DLPFC correlated negatively with tissue pH, but decreasing pH in cultured cells did not cause increased TNFSF13 mRNA nor did exogenous TNFSF13 decrease pH. We concluded that increased TNFSF13 expression may be one of several cell-death cytokine abnormalities that contribute to the observed brain pathology in schizophrenia, and while increased TNFSF13 may be associated with lower brain pH, the change is not necessarily causally related to brain pH.
PLoS ONE 04/2012; 7(4):e35511. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0035511 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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