0
We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

Gene Expression for Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase Is Reduced Without Loss of Neurons in Prefrontal Cortex of Schizophrenics

Schahram Akbarian, MD, PhD; James J. Kim; Steven G. Potkin, MD; Jennifer O. Hagman, MD; Alireza Tafazzoli; William E. Bunney Jr, MD; Edward G. Jones, MD, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1995;52(4):258-266. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1995.03950160008002.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Background:  Up-regulation of γ-aminobutyric acidA (GABAA) receptors and decreased GABA uptake in the cerebral cortex of schizophrenics suggest altered GABAergic transmission, which could be caused by primary disturbance of GABA synapses or by decreased production of the transmitter. Decreased production could be due to a shutdown in GABA production or to loss of GABA neurons caused by cell death or their failure to migrate to the cortex during brain development.

Methods:  To discriminate between these possibilities, we quantified levels of messenger RNA (mRNA) for the 67-kd isoform of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), the key enzyme in GABA synthesis, and the number and laminar distribution of GAD mRNA-expressing neurons in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of schizophrenics and matched controls, using in situ hybridization-histochemistry, densitometry, and cell-counting methods. These data were compared with the total number of neurons, the number of small, round or ovoid neurons 8 to 15 µm in diameter, and overall frontal lobe volume. As a control, mRNA levels for type II calciumcalmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CamIIK) were quantified.

Results:  Schizophrenics showed a pronounced decrease in GAD mRNA levels in neurons of layer I (40%) and layer II (48%) and an overall 30% decrease in layers III to VI. There were also strong overall reductions in GAD mRNA levels. The CamIIK mRNA levels showed no significant differences between samples. No differences were found in the total number of neurons nor in small, round or ovoid neurons, which should include a majority of the GABA cells. Prefrontal gray and white matter volume did not differ significantly between controls and schizophrenics. The prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics shows reduced expression for GAD in the absence of significant cell loss. This may be brought about by an activitydependent down-regulation associated with the functional hypoactivity of the DLPFC. The lack of significant alterations in cell numbers in the DLPFC and frontal lobe volume in schizophrenics also implies that overall cortical neuronal migration had not been compromised in development. Previous reports of altered neuronal distribution in the subcortical white matter of schizophrenic brains in comparison with that of controls may indicate disturbances of migration or programmed cell death in the cortical subplate, leading to altered connection formation in the overlying cortex of schizophrenics and activity-dependent down-regulation of neurotransmitter-related gene expression.

Conclusions:  The prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics shows reduced expression for GAD in the absence of significant cell loss. This may be brought about by an activity dependent down-regulation associated with the functional hypoactivity of the DLPFC. The lack of significant alterations in cell numbers in the DLPFC and frontal lobe volume in schizophrenics also implies that overall cortical neuronal migration had not been compromised in development. Previous reports of altered neuronal distribution in the subcortical white matter of schizophrenic brains in comparison with that of controls may indicate disturbances of migration or programmed cell death in the cortical subplate, leading to altered connection formation in the overlying cortex of schizophrenics and activity-dependent down-regulation of neurotrans mitter-related gene expression.

Topics

Sign in

Create a free personal account to sign up for alerts, share articles, and more.

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview

Figures

Tables

References

Correspondence

CME
Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Submit a Comment

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign in

Create a free personal account to sign up for alerts, share articles, and more.

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Jobs
brightcove.createExperiences();