Clinical Neuroscience

TLR4 (Toll-like receptor-4) expression and frontal-cingulate volumes in schizophrenia

LI Hua1, KÉRI Szabolcs1,2,3

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

Clinical Neuroscience - 2020;73(09-10)


Evidence suggests that pathogen-associated pattern recognition receptors (Toll-like receptors, TLRs) are implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. TLRs are important in both peripheral immune responses and neuronal plasticity. However, the relationship between peripheral TLR expression and regional brain volumes is unknown in schizophrenia. We therefore assessed 30 drug-naïve, first-episode patients with schizophrenia. TLR4+/TLR1+ monocytes were measured using flow-cytometry. High resolution magnetic resonance images (T1 MRI) were obtained and analyzed with FreeSurfer. Results revealed significant negative correlations between the percentage of TLR4+ monocytes, mean fluorescent intensities, and brain volumes in frontal and anterior cingulate regions. The measures of TLR1+ monocytes did not show significant relationships with regional brain volumes. These results raise the possibility that abnormal TLR-activation is associated with decreased brain volumes in schizophrenia.


  1. Nyírô Gyula National Institute of Psychiatry and Addictions, Budapest
  2. Department of Cognitive Science, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest
  3. Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged, Szeged



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

Late simultaneous carcinomatous meningitis, temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting with mono-symptomatic vertigo – a clinico-pathological case reporT

JARABIN András János, KLIVÉNYI Péter, TISZLAVICZ László, MOLNÁR Anna Fiona, GION Katalin, FÖLDESI Imre, KISS Geza Jozsef, ROVÓ László, BELLA Zsolt

Although vertigo is one of the most common complaints, intracranial malignant tumors rarely cause sudden asymmetry between the tone of the vestibular peripheries masquerading as a peripheral-like disorder. Here we report a case of simultaneous temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting as acute unilateral vestibular syndrome, due to the reawakening of a primary gastric signet ring cell carcinoma. Purpose – Our objective was to identify those pathophysiological steps that may explain the complex process of tumor reawakening, dissemination. The possible causes of vestibular asymmetry were also traced. A 56-year-old male patient’s interdisciplinary medical data had been retrospectively analyzed. Original clinical and pathological results have been collected and thoroughly reevaluated, then new histological staining and immunohistochemistry methods have been added to the diagnostic pool. During the autopsy the cerebrum and cerebellum was edematous. The apex of the left petrous bone was infiltrated and destructed by a tumor mass of 2x2 cm in size. Histological reexamination of the original gastric resection specimen slides revealed focal submucosal tumorous infiltration with a vascular invasion. By immunohistochemistry mainly single infiltrating tumor cells were observed with Cytokeratin 7 and Vimentin positivity and partial loss of E-cadherin staining. The subsequent histological examination of necropsy tissue specimens confirmed the disseminated, multi-organ microscopic tumorous invasion. Discussion – It has been recently reported that the expression of Vimentin and the loss of E-cadherin is significantly associated with advanced stage, lymph node metastasis, vascular and neural invasion and undifferentiated type with p<0.05 significance. As our patient was middle aged and had no immune-deficiency, the promoting factor of the reawakening of the primary GC malignant disease after a 9-year-long period of dormancy remained undiscovered. The organ-specific tropism explained by the “seed and soil” theory was unexpected, due to rare occurrence of gastric cancer to metastasize in the meninges given that only a minority of these cells would be capable of crossing the blood brain barrier. Patients with past malignancies and new onset of neurological symptoms should alert the physician to central nervous system involvement, and the appropriate, targeted diagnostic and therapeutic work-up should be established immediately. Targeted staining with specific antibodies is recommended. Recent studies on cell lines indicate that metformin strongly inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition of gastric cancer cells. Therefore, further studies need to be performed on cases positive for epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

Clinical Neuroscience

[The role of sleep in the relational memory processes ]

CSÁBI Eszter, ZÁMBÓ Ágnes, PROKECZ Lídia

[A growing body of evidence suggests that sleep plays an essential role in the consolidation of different memory systems, but less is known about the beneficial effect of sleep on relational memory processes and the recognition of emotional facial expressions, however, it is a fundamental cognitive skill in human everyday life. Thus, the study aims to investigate the effect of timing of learning and the role of sleep in relational memory processes. 84 young adults (average age: 22.36 (SD: 3.22), 21 male/63 female) participated in our study, divided into two groups: evening group and morning group indicating the time of learning. We used the face-name task to measure relational memory and facial expression recognition. There were two sessions for both groups: the immediate testing phase and the delayed retesting phase, separated by 24 hours. 84 young adults (average age: 22.36 (SD: 3.22), 21 male/63 female) participated in our study, divided into two groups: evening group and morning group indicating the time of learning. We used the face-name task to measure relational memory and facial expression recognition. There were two sessions for both groups: the immediate testing phase and the delayed retesting phase, separated by 24 hours. Our results suggest that the timing of learning and sleep plays an important role in the stabilizing process of memory representation to resist against forgetting.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Neuroscience highlights: Main cell types underlying memory and spatial navigation

KRABOTH Zoltán, KÁLMÁN Bernadette

Interest in the hippocampal formation and its role in navigation and memory arose in the second part of the 20th century, at least in part due to the curious case of Henry G. Molaison, who underwent brain surgery for intractable epilepsy. The temporal association observed between the removal of his entorhinal cortex along with a significant part of hippocampus and the developing severe memory deficit inspired scientists to focus on these regions. The subsequent discovery of the so-called place cells in the hippocampus launched the description of many other functional cell types and neuronal networks throughout the Papez-circuit that has a key role in memory processes and spatial information coding (speed, head direction, border, grid, object-vector etc). Each of these cell types has its own unique characteristics, and together they form the so-called “Brain GPS”. The aim of this short survey is to highlight for practicing neurologists the types of cells and neuronal networks that represent the anatomical substrates and physiological correlates of pathological entities affecting the limbic system, especially in the temporal lobe. For that purpose, we survey early discoveries along with the most relevant neuroscience observations from the recent literature. By this brief survey, we highlight main cell types in the hippocampal formation, and describe their roles in spatial navigation and memory processes. In recent decades, an array of new and functionally unique neuron types has been recognized in the hippocampal formation, but likely more remain to be discovered. For a better understanding of the heterogeneous presentations of neurological disorders affecting this anatomical region, insights into the constantly evolving neuroscience behind may be helpful. The public health consequences of diseases that affect memory and spatial navigation are high, and grow as the population ages, prompting scientist to focus on further exploring this brain region.

Clinical Neuroscience

A rare entity of acquired idiopathic generalised anhidrosis which has been successfully treated with pulse steroid therapy: Does the histopathology predict the treatment response?

ÖKTEM Özdemir Ece, ÇANKAYA Şeyda, UYKUR Burak Abdullah, ERDEN Simsek Nazan, YULUG Burak

Acquired idiopathic generalised anhidrosis is an uncommon sweating disorder characterized by loss of sweating in the absence of any neurologic, metabolic or sweat gland abnormalities. Although some possible immunological and structural mechanisms have been proposed for this rare entity, the definitive pathophysiology is still un­clear. Despite some successfully treated cases with systemic corticosteroid application, the dose and route of steroid application are controversial. Here, we present a 41-year-old man with lack of genera­lised sweating who has been successfully treated with high dose pulse intravenous prednisolone. We have discussed his clinical and histopathological findings as well as the treatment options in view of the current literature.

Clinical Neuroscience

Acute effect of sphenopalatine ganglion block with lidocaine in a patient with SUNCT


Short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with conjunctival injection and tearing/short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with cranial autonomic features (SUNCT/SUNA) is a rare severe headache. At the time of an attack, it can hinder a patient from eating and requires acute intervention. The sphenopalatine ganglion is an extracranial parasympathetic ganglion with both sensory and autonomic fibers. Sphenopalatine ganglion block has long been used in the treatment of headache, particularly when conventional methods have failed. Here, we present a patient who was resistant to intravenous lidocaine, but responded rapidly to sphenopalatine ganglion block during an acute episode of SUNCT/SUNA.

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

Symptom profiles and parental bonding in homicidal versus non-violent male schizophrenia patients

HALMAI Tamás, TÉNYI Tamás, GONDA Xénia

Objective - To compare the intensity and the profile of psychotic symptoms and the characteristics of parental bonding of male schizophrenia patients with a history of homicide and those without a history of violent behaviour. Clinical question - We hypothesized more intense psychotic symptoms, especially positive symptoms as signs of a more severe psychopathology in the background of homicidal behaviour. We also hypothesized a more negatively perceived pattern (less Care more Overprotection) of parental bonding in the case of homicidal schizophrenia patients than in non-violent patients and non-violent healthy controls. Method and subjects - Symptom severity and symptom profiles were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale in a group of male schizophrenia patients (n=22) with the history of committed or attempted homicide, and another group (n=19) of male schizophrenia patients without a history of violent behaviour. Care- and Overprotection were assessed using the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) in a third group of non-violent healthy controls (n=20), too. Results - Positive, negative and general psychopathology symptoms in the homicidal schizophrenia group were significantly (p<0.005) more severe than in the non-violent schizophrenia group. Non-violent schizophrenia patients scored lower on Care and higher on Overprotection than violent patients and healthy controls. Homicidal schizophrenia patients showed a pattern similar to the one in the healthy control group. Conclusions - It seems imperative to register intense positive psychotic symptoms as predictive markers for later violent behaviour. In the subgroup of male homicidal schizophrenia patients negatively experienced parental bonding does not appear to be major contributing factor to later homicidal behaviour.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Paths and mispaths - the current challanges of the treatment of schizophrenia: a cognitive perspective]


[Schizophrenia is a severe chronic mental disorder accompanied by acute psychotic episodes. The prognosis for and the quality of life of the patients is not primarily determined by the psychotic episodes that often require hospitalization, but rather by the disorder-specific cognitive deficits that persist and progress during the illness and precede the manifestation of the disorder. The greatest challenge in treating the disease is the treatment of the cognitive impairments, since our pharmacological therapeutic repertoire is mainly effective in controlling and preventing manifestation of the psychotic symptoms. The study provides a brief report on the anomalies of the current pharmacology- and hospital-centered care that are however a considerable obstacle to a modern neurocognitive developmental rehabilitation of people with schizophrenia with the aim of promoting social integration. This paper also summarizes the importance of the pharmacological treatments from the neurocognitive perspective, and finally presents the possibilities and results of the psychosocial rehabilitation in the treatment of the neurocognitive deficits in the hope of encouraging changing and a therapeutic paradigm shift. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Investigation of the dopamine dysregulation hypothesis of schizophrenia with neuroimaging techniques]

SZEKERES György, PÁVICS László, JANKA Zoltán

[The most elaborated biochemical concept of schizophrenia is the dopamine hypothesis. However, this classical theory is based on indirect observations. It has recently become possible to study this theory directly by means of advanced functional neuroimaging techniques, the development of specific radioligands and study protocols that are eligible to monitor dynamic changes in the neurotransmitter systems. According to the early concept, the essence of schizophrenia is the hyperactivity of the dopamine system. Nevertheless, this idea has gone through many modifications. In accordance with the modified dopamine hypothesis, the cognitive deficit and negative symptoms are related to the hypoactivity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex while the acute phasis of the disease associates with hyperactivity of the ventral striatal elements of the dopaminergic system. Between these dysfunctions there is causality via their exuberant connections. Beyond that, the interactions between the prefrontal and striatal anomalies implicate the involvement of other neurotransmitters than dopamine. Observations from model psychosis induced by N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonists and in vivo neuroimaging investigations in humans support primarily the role of glutamatergic system. Our developing knowledge about the neurochemical mechanism of schizophrenia can significantly affect therapeutic strategies as well.]

Hungarian Immunology

[Toll-like receptors and epithelial cells]


[Toll-like receptors have been extensively studied in the last few years. These receptors are involved in the mechanisms how microbes and infections are linked to natural immunity and some autoimmune-inflammatory processes. Here author reviews the latest news on Tolllike receptors with much emphasis on their role on epithelial cells. Therapeutic strategies targeting Toll-like receptors are also discussed.]

Lege Artis Medicinae


BÁNKI M. Csaba

[Schizophrenia is a severe and chronic disorder affecting almost 1% of the population worldwide. Antipsychotic drugs, currently in their secondgeneration (atypical) antipsychotics, represent its first-line treatment. Compliance during long-term maintenance pharmacotherapy is one of the key factors in successful patient management; longacting, injectable antipsychotics may significantly contribute to the improvement of the patients The new form of this drug is the first long-acting, injectable second-generation antipsychotic; administered biweekly it produces stable, reliable clinical efficacy. Low peak plasma concentrations and smaller plasma level fluctuations result in excellent tolerance, less side effects than with per os risperidone and minimal local pain due to its specific technology. There is strong evidence from controlled clinical trials for its prolonged efficacy during long-term administration and for patient satisfaction being usually better than with most other antipsychotics. Switching over to long-acting injectable risperidone often results in further improvement even in previously stable patients. No safety concerns have emerged from published evidence. The long-acting injectable risperidone appears to reduce the rehospitalisation rate, a major factor towards its cost-effectiveness.]