Neuroglial Cells and Schizophrenia

신경아교세포와 조현병

  • Won, Seunghee (Department of Psychiatry, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine)
  • 원승희 (경북대학교 의학전문대학원 정신건강의학교실)
  • Received : 2015.04.10
  • Accepted : 2015.05.21
  • Published : 2015.05.31


In the past decade, structural, molecular, and functional changes in glial cells have become a major focus in the search for the neurobiological foundations of schizophrenia. Glial cells, consisting of oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, microglia, and nerve/glial antigen 2-positive cells, constitute a major cell population in the central nervous system. There is accumulating evidence of reduced numbers of oligodendrocytes and altered expression of myelin/oligodendrocyte-related genes that might explain the white matter abnormalities and altered inter- and intra-hemispheric connectivities that are characteristic signs of schizophrenia. Astrocytes play a key role in the synaptic metabolism of neurotransmitters ; thus, astrocyte dysfunction may contribute to certain aspects of altered neurotransmission in schizophrenia. Increased densities of microglial cells and aberrant expression of microglia-related surface markers in schizophrenia suggest that immunological/inflammatory factors are of considerable relevance to the pathophysiology of psychosis. This review describes current evidence for the multifaceted role of glial cells in schizophrenia and discusses efforts to develop glia-directed therapies for the treatment of the disease.


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