Medindia

X

Study Sheds Light on Neuronal Migration Errors

by Kathy Jones on  January 7, 2011 at 8:59 PM Research News   - G J E 4
The delicate balance between neurons in the brain has to be preserved at all costs.
 Study Sheds Light on Neuronal Migration Errors
Study Sheds Light on Neuronal Migration Errors
Advertisement

Normally, cortical nerve cells or neurons reside in the brain's gray matter with only a few scattered neurons in the white matter, but some people with schizophrenia have a higher number of neurons in the white matter. Neuronal migration errors may arise in schizophrenia as a consequence of both genetic and environmental factors.

Advertisement
The phenomenon of aberrant cellular localization has now been studied in detail in a paper by Yang and colleagues, published in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry.

Using a specialized technique that involves staining cells, the researchers were able to determine the distribution of nerve cells in brain tissue from people who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in comparison to tissue from people who did not carry this diagnosis prior to their death.

Their results linked two main findings emerging from analyses of brain tissue in schizophrenia: abnormalities in the inhibitory neurons within the cortex and increases in neurons in white matter below the cortex.

"Our observations challenge the long held theory that increased neurons in the white matter might be remaining from a transient layer of cells," explained Prof. Cyndi Shannon Weickert and Dr. Samantha Fung. "We suggest that, in schizophrenia, inhibitory neurons that were travelling to the cortex might actually be stuck at some stage in their development."

This study's findings highlight the importance of brain development for the emergence of symptoms associated with schizophrenia. As noted by Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry, "this study highlights the importance for schizophrenia of better understanding the molecular switches that control the migration of nerve cells and the development of the connections between nerve cells."

If scientists understood the molecular factors that prevented the neurons from migrating into the cortex, they might be able to develop treatments that prevented the inhibitory neurons from getting "stuck" in the white matter.



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

Advertisement
View All