Only a few studies in postmortem brain tissue on a

Only a few studies in postmortem brain tissue on a relatively small number of subjects have attempted to estimate the number of neurons in such subcortical structures as hypothalamus,

dorsal raphe nucleus, locus ceruleus, and amygdala.44-52 Results of these subcortical histopathological studies are somewhat inconsistent. Increases, decreases, or no change in the cell number or density are reported in the hypothalamus and brain stem nuclei in depressed subjects. Stereological investigation of specific types of hypothalamic neurons reveals an increase in the numbers of arginine-vasopressin (AVP)-immunoreactive neurons, oxytocin-expressing neurons, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) neurons in the paraventricular nucleus in subjects with BPD or MDD, compared to normal controls.44,45 Moreover, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical Selleck Pictilisib increases in CRH mRNA, and in the number of CRH neurons colocalizing AVP are also found in depressed patients.46,47 These findings

of increases in specific immunoreactive neurons arc consistent with the evidence of activation of the hypothalamicpituitary-adrenal (HPA) Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical axis in some subsets of depressed patients.48 On the other hand, decreased number and density of nitric oxide synthase-containing neurons in the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus are described in a small group of subjects with either MDD or BPD.49 Subtle structural abnormalities have been reported in mood disorders in the monoaminergic brain stem nuclei, the major sources of serotonin (dorsal raphe nucleus) and norepinephrine (locus Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical ceruleus) projections to the cerebral cortex. An increased number and density

of tryptophan hydroxylase immunoreactive neurons is observed in the dorsal raphe nucleus of suicide victims with MDD compared with controls.50 In suicide victims, Arango et al51 report fewer pigmented neurons within the rostral locus ceruleus. Another study in a larger number of subjects found no differences in the number Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical of Linifanib (ABT-869) pigmented neurons in the locus ceruleus between subjects with MDD (most were suicides) and control subjects.52 Although the number of neurons in the locus ceruleus does not appear altered in MDD, CRH immunoreactivity is increased in the locus ceruleus and pontine dorsal and median raphe nuclei.53,54 No changes in neuronal densities were detected in amygdala in subjects with either M’DD or BPD, as compared to normal controls.17 These postmortem findings suggest that some changes in the morphology of hypothalamic neurons and brain stem neurons may take place in mood disorders. However, future studies employing stereological techniques and a larger number of subjects are required to determine the exact pathology in these regions in depression.

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