The entorhinal cortex (ERC) has been implicated in schizophrenia by a number of studies. There is anatomical observation of neuronal heterotopias in the rostral ERC, which is consistent with a hypothesis of neurodevelopmental abnormalities in this disease, in view of the significant cytoarchitectonic variation of the ERC throughout its rostro-caudal extent, we performed a detailed subareal analysis of the rostral two-thirds of the entorhinal cortex (ERCr) in 14 postmortem schizophrenic brains and 14 matched controls (mean ages of 48 and 47 respectively). This systematic evaluation included both a qualitative microscopic analysis of morphogenetic anomalies that would be consistent with neurodevelopmental pathology end quantitative measurements of total neuronal number, average neuronal density, laminar volume and laminar depth from the cortical surface in cytoarchitectonically matched subareas of schizophrenic and control brains. Parcellation of the entire ERC on the basis of cytoarchitectonic criteria identified five distinct regions, similar to those described in the macaque, except that in the human brain three of the regions were further divisible into two or three subareas, yielding nine distinct cellular compartments. Five rostral areas, prorhinal (Pr), lateral (28L), intermediate rostral and caudal (28lr and 28lc), and sulcal (28S), comprise the ERCr. Gross and microscopic examination of these subdivisions throughout the ERCr failed to reveal laminar disorganization in any of the schizophrenic brains. The brains also did not differ significantly with respect to total neuronal number, total volume and neuronal density per laminar and subareal subdivision, or laminar thickness per entorhinal subarea. However, neuronal number and density were reduced by 12-18% in Pr and 28L, suggesting that mild quantitative abnormalities may exist in the ERCr and might possibly be revealed in a larger sample of schizophrenia brains. We have failed to confirm previous reports of laminar disorganization in the ERCr in brains of patients with schizophrenia; to the extent that this region is implicated in schizophrenia, the structural changes are likely to consist of more subtle cellular disturbances.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience