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March 1993

Distorted Distribution of Nicotinamide-Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate—Diaphorase Neurons in Temporal Lobe of Schizophrenics Implies Anomalous Cortical Development

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology (Drs Akbarian and Jones and Messrs Viñuela and Kim) and the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior (Drs Potkin and Bunney), University of California, Irvine.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1993;50(3):178-187. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1993.01820150016002

• The distribution of neurons expressing the enzyme nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate—diaphorase (NADPH-d) in the lateral and medial temporal lobes of schizophrenic and matched control brains was investigated in a systematic blind analysis. Schizophrenics had significantly lower numbers of NADPH-d neurons in the hippocampal formation and in the neocortex of the lateral temporal lobe but significantly greater numbers of NADPH-d neurons in the white matter of the lateral temporal lobe and a tendency toward greater numbers in parts of the parahippocampal white matter. The distorted distribution of NADPH-d neurons in the lateral temporal lobe, which may be explained by developmental disturbances, such as impaired neuronal migration or an alteration in the death cycle of transitory subcortical neurons, is similar to that found in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics. Alterations of cortical ontogenesis, as reflected in the distribution of NADPH-d neurons, appear to be widespread among neocortical association fields in schizophrenics and may provide a clue to the cause of the disease.

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