We report recent postmortem findings from the Magdeburg Brain Bank related to the evaluation of impaired
activity of neuronal networks relevant for depression. Chronic changes in ribosomal DNA transcriptional activity have
been revealed by the quantitative evaluation of silver-stained nucleolar organising regions (AgNORs). Abnormalities in
AgNOR parameters have been found in neurons of the prefrontal limbic regions, the amygdala, the external globus
pallidus, and the serotonergic dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN). The impact of the processes leading to suicide has been clearly
accentuated in opposition to the weak influence of unipolar-bipolar dichotomy, which was only revealed in one area (the
anterior cingulate cortex). The impact of suicide was most pronounced in the DRN. Our AgNOR studies show that the
influence of psychotropic medication (antidepressants and typical neuroleptics, among others) is limited in the prevention
of abnormal neuronal activity specific for suicide.
Keywords: Depression, suicide, unipolar-bipolar dichotomy, postmortem, AgNOR staining.
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