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Association between altered hippocampal oligodendrocyte number and neuronal circuit structures in schizophrenia: a postmortem analysis.

Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2019 Sep 24. doi: 10.1007/s00406-019-01067-0. [Epub ahead of print]

Authors/Editors: Falkai P, Raabe F, Bogerts B, Schneider-Axmann T, Malchow B, Tatsch L, Huber V, Slapakova L, Dobrowolny H, Schmitz C, Cantuti-Castelvetri L, Simons M, Steiner J, Schmitt A.
Publication Date: 2019



In schizophrenia, decreased hippocampal volume, reduced oligodendrocyte numbers in hippocampal cornu ammonis (CA) subregions and reduced neuron number in the dentate gyrus have been reported; reduced oligodendrocyte numbers were significantly related to cognitive deficits. The hippocampus is involved in cognitive functions and connected to the hypothalamus, anterior thalamus, and cingulate cortex, forming the Papez circuit, and to the mediodorsal thalamus. The relationship between the volume of these interconnected regions and oligodendrocyte and neuron numbers in schizophrenia is unknown. Therefore, we used stepwise logistic regression with subsequent multivariate stepwise linear regression and bivariate correlation to analyze oligodendrocyte and neuron numbers in the posterior hippocampal subregions CA1, CA2/3, CA4, dentate gyrus, and subiculum and volumes of the hippocampal CA region, cingulum, anterior and mediodorsal thalamus and hypothalamus in postmortem brains of 10 schizophrenia patients and 11 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Stepwise logistic regression identified the following predictors for diagnosis, in order of inclusion: (1) oligodendrocyte number in CA4, (2) hypothalamus volume, (3) oligodendrocyte number in CA2/3, and (4) mediodorsal thalamus volume. Subsequent stepwise linear regression analyses identified the following predictors: (1) for oligodendrocyte number in CA4: (a) oligodendrocyte number in CA2/3, (b) diagnostic group, (c) hypothalamus volume, and (d) neurons in posterior subiculum; (2) for hypothalamus volume: (a) mediodorsal thalamus volume; (3) for oligodendrocyte number in CA2/3: oligodendrocyte number (a) in posterior CA4 and (b) in posterior subiculum; (4) for mediodorsal thalamus volume: volumes of (a) anterior thalamus and (b) hippocampal CA. In conclusion, we found a positive relationship between hippocampal oligodendrocyte number and the volume of the hypothalamus, a brain region connected to the hippocampus, which is important for cognition.

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