In Situ/Histological Approaches to Neurotransmitter-Specific Postmortem Brain Studies of Schizophrenia

  • Susan E. Bachus
  • Joel E. Kleinman
Part of the Neurobiological Foundation of Aberrant Behaviors book series (NFAB, volume 4)


To bridge the gulf between genetic vulnerability and clinical phenomenology we are obliged to understand gene expression and protein function at the cellular level of resolution. In situ postmortem methods, which merge the advantages of neurochemical specification and neuroanatomical localization, can enable this objective. Our ability to visualize and measure proteins by immunocytochemistry, neurotransmitter receptors with quantitative receptor autoradiography, and mRNA levels with in situ hybridization histochemistry, is presented, both in terms of critical methodological considerations, and according to insights these strategies have revealed into the neuropathology of schizophrenia. The greatest challenge now facing us is the synthesis of this wealth of findings into a coherent account of a dysfunctional neuroanatomically and neurochemically specified circuit subserving the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. The potential for multiple-labeling with in situ methods may aid in the reconstruction of this circuit from the connections between the microscopic elements of neuropathology.


Prefrontal Cortex Hybridization Histochemistry Bioi Psychiatry Dopamine Hypothesis Schizophrenic Brain 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan E. Bachus
  • Joel E. Kleinman

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