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Oligodendrocytes as A New Therapeutic Target in Schizophrenia: From Histopathological Findings to Neuron-Oligodendrocyte Interaction.

Cells. 2019 Nov 23;8(12). pii: E1496. doi: 10.3390/cells8121496.

Authors/Editors: Raabe FJ, Slapakova L, Rossner MJ, Cantuti-Castelvetri L, Simons M, Falkai PG, Schmitt A.
Publication Date: 2019



Imaging and postmortem studies have revealed disturbed oligodendroglia-related processes in patients with schizophrenia and provided much evidence for disturbed myelination, irregular gene expression, and altered numbers of oligodendrocytes in the brains of schizophrenia patients. Oligodendrocyte deficits in schizophrenia might be a result of failed maturation and disturbed regeneration and may underlie the cognitive deficits of the disease, which are strongly associated with impaired long-term outcome. Cognition depends on the coordinated activity of neurons and interneurons and intact connectivity. Oligodendrocyte precursors form a synaptic network with parvalbuminergic interneurons, and disturbed crosstalk between these cells may be a cellular basis of pathology in schizophrenia. However, very little is known about the exact axon-glial cellular and molecular processes that may be disturbed in schizophrenia. Until now, investigations were restricted to peripheral tissues, such as blood, correlative imaging studies, genetics, and molecular and histological analyses of postmortem brain samples. The advent of human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) will enable functional analysis in patient-derived living cells and holds great potential for understanding the molecular mechanisms of disturbed oligodendroglial function in schizophrenia. Targeting such mechanisms may contribute to new treatment strategies for previously treatment-resistant cognitive symptoms.

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