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Neurochemical markers as potential indicators of postmortem tissue quality


Sian-Hülsmann, J; Monoranu, C-M; Grünblatt, E; Riederer, P (2018). Neurochemical markers as potential indicators of postmortem tissue quality. Handbook of Clinical Neurology, 150:119-127.

Abstract

Premortem, postmortem, and storage conditions are parameters that can influence the quality and interpretation of data from studies of postmortem tissue. While many neurochemicals in the brain are relatively stable for several hours after death if stored at 4°C, the postmortem delay nevertheless becomes an important variable when examining the disease state because neurochemical levels may change with extended postmortem delay. Moreover, in the postmortem brain, neurochemical levels may also play a key role in determining the diagnosis. This is particularly true for some neurodegenerative disorders where many of the clinical features of the disease are not exclusive to one illness. It is therefore imperative to employ brain tissue of the highest quality from both nondiseased (control) and diseased brain tissue to ascertain the specific molecular and genetic mechanisms particular to the disease pathogenesis. Consequently, it would be very useful if specific markers could be employed to demonstrate and determine the quality of postmortem brain tissue that is suitable for such studies. In this chapter, the following neurochemical markers are critically reviewed as potential candidates to assess the quality of postmortem brain tissue: tryptophan levels, glutathione levels (and glutathione metabolic enzymes), enzymatic activities (glutamate decarboxylase, phosphofructokinase-1), epigenetic enzymes (acetyltransferase, methyltransferase), and tissue pH. In conclusion, the neurochemical tryptophan appears to be the most suitable candidate for assessing the integrity and quality of postmortem brain tissue. However, to optimize the quality of the samples, neuropathologic diagnostic characterization must also be employed in the interpretation and understanding of the data generated. It would also be judicious to consider as many premortem and postmortem conditions as possible as they can also affect the genetic and molecular integrity of the brain tissue.

Abstract

Premortem, postmortem, and storage conditions are parameters that can influence the quality and interpretation of data from studies of postmortem tissue. While many neurochemicals in the brain are relatively stable for several hours after death if stored at 4°C, the postmortem delay nevertheless becomes an important variable when examining the disease state because neurochemical levels may change with extended postmortem delay. Moreover, in the postmortem brain, neurochemical levels may also play a key role in determining the diagnosis. This is particularly true for some neurodegenerative disorders where many of the clinical features of the disease are not exclusive to one illness. It is therefore imperative to employ brain tissue of the highest quality from both nondiseased (control) and diseased brain tissue to ascertain the specific molecular and genetic mechanisms particular to the disease pathogenesis. Consequently, it would be very useful if specific markers could be employed to demonstrate and determine the quality of postmortem brain tissue that is suitable for such studies. In this chapter, the following neurochemical markers are critically reviewed as potential candidates to assess the quality of postmortem brain tissue: tryptophan levels, glutathione levels (and glutathione metabolic enzymes), enzymatic activities (glutamate decarboxylase, phosphofructokinase-1), epigenetic enzymes (acetyltransferase, methyltransferase), and tissue pH. In conclusion, the neurochemical tryptophan appears to be the most suitable candidate for assessing the integrity and quality of postmortem brain tissue. However, to optimize the quality of the samples, neuropathologic diagnostic characterization must also be employed in the interpretation and understanding of the data generated. It would also be judicious to consider as many premortem and postmortem conditions as possible as they can also affect the genetic and molecular integrity of the brain tissue.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:25 February 2018
Deposited On:25 Oct 2018 09:13
Last Modified:31 Dec 2018 08:27
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0072-9752
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-444-63639-3.00009-8
PubMed ID:29496135

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