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Apoptosis in subicular neurons: A comparison between suicide and Addison′s disease

Author(s): Printha K | Hulathduwa S | Samarasinghe K | Suh Y | De Silva K. R. D

Journal: Indian Journal of Psychiatry
ISSN 0019-5545

Volume: 51;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 276;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Addison disease | apoptosis | corticosteroids | subiculum | suicide

Background: Stress and depression shows possible links to neuronal death in hippocampus. Subiculum plays a prominent role in limbic stress integration and direct effect of corticosteroids on subicular neurons needs to be defined to assess its subsequent impact on hippocampal plasticity. Aim: This study was intended to assess apoptosis in subicular neurons of a young depressed suicide victim, where presumably stress induced excess of corticosteroids and a case of young Addison′s disease with low level of corticosteroids. Materials and Method: Both bilateral adrenal glands (Addison′s) and subiculum (both cases) were initially stained with hematoxylin and eosin; subicular neurons of both cases were examined for the degree of apoptosis using ′ApopTag Kit′. Apoptotic cell counts were expressed as average number of labeled cells/mm 2 and the results were analysed statistically using a non-parametric Mann-Whitney U test. Result: Apoptotic neurons were detected in the subicular region of both suicide and Addison victims, and it is statistically significant in both right and left between the cases (P < 0.05). In suicide victim, the neuronal apoptosis is considerably significant between the two hemispheres (P < 0.05), in contrast to Addison disease where the number of neuronal cell death between right and left was statistically insignificant (P > 0.05). Conclusion: The present study confirms the vulnerability of the subicular neurons to apoptosis, possibly due to corticosteroids in both ends of spectrum.
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