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Biochemical analysis of neurotransmitters in temporal lobe and limbic system of post mortem brains from schizophrenic patients

, : Biochemical analysis of neurotransmitters in temporal lobe and limbic system of post mortem brains from schizophrenic patients. Psychiatria et Neurologia Japonica 86(10): 827-840

The temporal cortex and limbic system of post-mortem brain samples from 9 schizophrenics and 10 control subjects who had died of non-neuropsychiatric causes were analyzed for the concentrations of monoamines, amino acids and neuropeptides as candidates of neurotransmitters. Three areas were dissected out from temporal cortex; superior temporal gyrus (Brodmann areas 22, 38, 41, 42 and 52), medial and inferior temporal gyrus (Brodmann areas 20 and 21) and lateral occipitotemporal gyrus (Brodmann area 36). The amygdala was divided into the basolateral group and the corticomedial group. The hippocampus was divided into the dentate gyrus, cornu Ammonis, subiculum and posterior portion. Anterior and posterior portions were dissected out from pyriform cortex. Insular cortex was also dissected out. There was no difference between schizophrenics and controls in noradrenaline [norepinephrine], dopamine and homovanillic acid concentrations in 2 areas of amygdala. A significant decrease in GABA concentration was found in the posterior portion of hippocampus. In a previous determination of GABA in more than 10 brain areas, significant changes were never obtained. A significant decrease in glutamic acid concentration in the superior temporal gyrus was also the first finding in the studies, but the decreased value correlates positively with age and correlates negatively with death-freezing time. Significantly increased activity of choline acetyltransferase was found in the corticomedial group of amygdala. Substance P immunoreactivity was assayed in all areas dissected. The immunoreactivity was significantly elevated in the cornu Ammonis of the hippocampus and the anterior portion of the pyriform cortex. A significantly high value of immunoreactivity was measured in the lateral occipitotemporal gyrus, medial and inferior temporal gyrus, hippocampal dentate gyrus and subiculum of on-drug schizophrenic patients who had been an antipsychotic medication prior to death. No differences between both groups were noted in cholectystokinin immunoreactivity in the temporal cortex, pyriform cortex and insular cortex. There was significantly decreased immunoreactivity of .alpha.-neoendorphin in the insular cortex. Abnormal values of neurotransmitter candidates were found in the temporal gyrus (decreased glutamic acid), hippocampus (decreased GABA and increased substance P), amygdala (increased choline acetyltransferase), pyriform cortex (increased substance P) and insular cortex (decreased .alpha.-neoendorphin). Higher immunoreactivity of substance P was measured in schizophrenic orbitofrontal cortex. On-drug schizophrenic brains displayed higher substance P levels in the substantia nigra, thalamus, temporal gyrus and hippocampus. Long-term administration of antipsychotic drugs decreased substance P levels in the brain areas. The increased tendency of substance P might be shizophrenia-related changes.


PMID: 6151711

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