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Serum S100B protein is specifically related to white matter changes in schizophrenia


Schroeter,  Matthias L.
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Milleit, B., Smesny, S., Rothermundt, M., Preul, C., Schroeter, M. L., von Eiff, C., et al. (2016). Serum S100B protein is specifically related to white matter changes in schizophrenia. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 10: 33. doi:10.3389/fncel.2016.00033.

Background: Schizophrenia can be conceptualized as a form of dysconnectivity between brain regions.To investigate the neurobiological foundation of dysconnectivity, one approach is to analyze white matter structures, such as the pathology of fiber tracks. S100B is considered a marker protein for glial cells, in particular oligodendrocytes and astroglia, that passes the blood brain barrier and is detectable in peripheral blood. Earlier Studies have consistently reported increased S100B levels in schizophrenia. In this study, we aim to investigate associations between S100B and structural white matter abnormalities. Methods: We analyzed data of 17 unmedicated schizophrenic patients (first and recurrent episode) and 22 controls. We used voxel based morphometry (VBM) to detect group differences of white matter structures as obtained from T1-weighted MR-images and considered S100B serum levels as a regressor in an age-corrected interaction analysis. Results: S100B was increased in both patient subgroups. Using VBM, we found clusters indicating significant differences of the association between S100B concentration and white matter. Involved anatomical structures are the posterior cingulate bundle and temporal white matter structures assigned to the superior longitudinal fasciculus. Conclusions: S100B-associated alterations of white matter are shown to be existent already at time of first manifestation of psychosis and are distinct from findings in recurrent episode patients. This suggests involvement of S100B in an ongoing and dynamic process associated with structural brain changes in schizophrenia. However, it remains elusive whether increased S100B serum concentrations in psychotic patients represent a protective response to a continuous pathogenic process or if elevated S100B levels are actively involved in promoting structural brain damage.