While neurons of the human cerebral cortex are mainly distributed in the gray matter, the white matter (WM) also contains some excitatory and inhibitory neurons, so-called WM neurons. Studies on the cytoarchitectural alterations in the brains of patients with neuropsychiatric disorders have repeatedly reported increased densities of the WM neurons in a proportion of patients with schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder. Although some studies have demonstrated increased densities of superficial WM neurons, others have demonstrated increased densities of deep WM neurons and increased WM neuron densities can be considered as one of the cross-disease features of neuropsychiatric disorders. Nevertheless, what actually causes the increase in the densities of the WM neurons still remains under debate, and several hypothetical mechanisms have been proposed. The WM neurons in normal brains are considered as remnants of the subplate neurons, which represent a transient cytoarchitectural zone present during development of the mammalian neocortex; it has been suggested that increased densities of the WM neurons could result from inappropriate apoptosis of the subplate neurons in the brains of patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. On the other hand, recent experimental studies have demonstrated that genetic and environmental factors that enhance the risk of development of neuropsychiatric disorders could cause altered distribution of neurons in the WM. To understand the pathophysiology underlying the increased densities of the WM neurons, it is important to investigate the cellular characteristics of the WM neurons in the brains of both normal subjects and patients with neuropsychiatric disorders.
|ジャーナル||Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences|
|出版ステータス||Published - 2020 3月 1|
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