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Quantification of Tyrosine Hydroxylase and ErbB4 in the Locus Coeruleus of Mood Disorder Patients Using a Multispectral Method to Prevent Interference with Immunocytochemical Signals by Neuromelanin.

Research group Swaab
Publication year 2019
Published in Neuroscience Bulletin
Authors R.A. Balesar, J.J. van Heerikhuize, A.A. Sluiter, D.F. Swaab, A.M. Bao, Lei Guo, Jochem Stormmesand, Zheng Fang, Qingbin Zhu,

The locus coeruleus (LC) has been studied in major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD). A major problem of immunocytochemical studies in the human LC is interference with the staining of the immunocytochemical end-product by the omnipresent natural brown pigment neuromelanin. Here, we used a multispectral method to untangle the two colors: blue immunocytochemical staining and brown neuromelanin. We found significantly increased tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in the LC of MDD patients-thus validating the method-but not in BD patients, and we did not find significant changes in the receptor tyrosine-protein kinase ErbB4 in the LC in MDD or BD patients. We observed clear co-localization of ErbB4, TH, and neuromelanin in the LC neurons. The different stress-related molecular changes in the LC may contribute to the different clinical symptoms in MDD and BD.

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