Profiles of DARPP-32 in the insular cortex with schizophrenia: A postmortem brain study

Keisuke Nishiura, Yasuto Kunii, Akira Wada, Junya Matsumoto, Qiaohui Yang, Keiko Ikemoto, Shin Ichi Niwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In patients with schizophrenia, various physical disorders are sometimes discovered only when they have reached a later and more severe stage. This phenomenon is believed to be caused, at least in part, by an increase in pain threshold. The gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic and glutamatergic systems in the rostral agranular insular cortex (RAIC) are thought to be involved in the regulation of pain threshold. However, no postmortem studies of the cerebral cortex have previously been published. Dopamine and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein 32. kD (DARPP-32), which is involved in the GABAergic and glutamatergic systems, is considered to be crucial for elucidating the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.Using specific antibodies, we conducted immunohistochemical examinations of the RAIC in 10 subjects from a healthy control group, and 11 subjects from a schizophrenia group. The sex, age, and postmortem interval (PMI) of the schizophrenia group were matched to those of the healthy control group. We revealed that the density of DARPP-32-immunoreactive (IR) neurons in the II and III layers of the RAIC was significantly decreased (p < 0.05) in the schizophrenia group compared with the healthy control group. Our findings could partially explain the molecular basis of the pain threshold abnormalities found in patients with schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1901-1907
Number of pages7
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes


  • DARPP-32
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Postmortem brains
  • Rostral agranular insular cortex (RAIC)
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Biological Psychiatry


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