Yvetta A. Koeva, Stefan T. Sivkov and Lilia S. Grozlekova
INTRODUCTION: The maldevelopmental model of schizophrenia postulates pathological alterations in embryonal neurogenesis as the etiopathogenetic basis of schizophrenic psychoses. The neurotrophic factor hypothesis explains these neuropathological abnormalities as the result of alterations of the neurotrophin system caused by different mechanisms such as a genetic, infectious and traumatic factors. The tyrosine-kinase containing receptors trkB and trkC mediate growth-promoting effects of neurotrophins and respond to changes in neurotrophic factors availability. AIM: The aim of the present study was to establish the expression pattern of trkB and trkC in rat brain structures by a developmental model of schizophrenia. MATERIALS AND METHODS: On cryostat coronal brain sections of control and lesioned rats (after infusion of ibotenic acid solution bilaterally into the hippocampal formation), immunoreactions for trkB and trkC were performed. RESULTS: We found diminished expression of trkB and trkC in the hippocampal formation of lesioned animals compared to the controls. Quantitative measurements of immunohistochemical reactions intensity and statistical analysis confi rmed the reduced immunoreactivity for antigens under study (trkB and trkC) in the positive hippocampal neurons of 56-day-old lesioned rats compared to the control animals. CONCLUSION: The observed downregulation of neurotrophic factor receptors expression may compromise the function and plasticity of hippocampal formation in schizophrenic brains.
Ferihan M. Ahmed-Popova, Mladen J. Mantarkov, Stefan T. Sivkov and Valentin H. Akabaliev
INTRODUCTION: Dermatoglyphic pattern formation and differentiation are complex processes which have been in the focus of research interest ever since dermatoglyphics became a science. The patterns’ early differentiation and genetic uniqueness as well as the relatively simple methods used to obtain and store fingerprints make it possible to study the relationship between certain dermatoglyphic characteristics and the underlying pathological processes in a number of diseases, including mental disorders. AIM: The present review reports published data from fundamental and clinical studies on dermatoglyphics primarily in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to lend additional support for the neurodevelopmental hypothesis in the etiology of these disorders. Following an analysis of the theories of dermatoglyphics formation and the complex association between ridge patterns and central nervous system in early embryogenesis, an attempt is made to present dermatoglyphics as possible biological markers of impaired neurodevelopment. CONCLUSIONS: The contradictory data in the literature on dermatoglyphics in mental disorders suggest the need for further studies on these biological markers in order to identify their place in the neurodevelopmental etiological model of these diseases
Yvetta A. Koeva, Stefan T. Sivkov, Valentin H. Akabaliev, Roumiana Y. Ivanova, Tania I. Deneva, Lilia S. Grozlekova and Vessela Georgieva
INTRODUCTION: Neurotrophins have an important role in regulating the development and maintenance of the peripheral and central nervous systems’ function. Thus, the neurotrophin hypothesis of schizophrenia has postulated that the changes in the brain of schizophrenic patients are the result of disturbances of developing processes involving these molecules. AIM: We analyse in the present study the changes in the serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in schizophrenic patients as possible epiphenomena of underlying alterations of the neurotrophic factor in central nervous system, reflecting its role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty-one schizophrenic patients satisfying the DSM-IV criteria for diagnosis of schizophrenia were enrolled in the study. The control group consisted of 28 age-matched mentally healthy subjects. Serum BDNF levels were determined in patients and normal controls using ELISA (Chemicon International, USA & Canada). The data were analyzed statistically with Student’s t- test in SPSS 9.0. RESULTS: The serum BDNF levels were lower in the schizophrenic patients than in the control subjects, reaching statistically significant difference (t = 2.72, p = 0.009). Female patients had lower serum BDNF levels than the male patients but the difference fell short of statistical significance (t = 0.1, p = 0.9). CONCLUSIONS: The BDNF reduction in serum indicates a potential deficit in neurotrophic factor release in patients with schizophrenia and support the concept that BDNF might be associated with schizophrenia