Regulation of Cortical Interneurons by Neurotrophins: From Development to Cognitive Disorders

Neuroscientist. 2006 Feb;12(1):43-56. doi: 10.1177/1073858405284360.


Parvalbumin-positive interneurons, which include basket and chandelier cells, represent a unique class of interneurons. By innervating the soma and the axonal initial segment of pyramidal cells, these interneurons can elicit powerful control on the output of pyramidal cells and consequently are important for a number of physiological processes in the mammalian brain. Recent evidence indicates that neurotrophins regulate the development and functions of parvalbumin-positive interneurons. Disruption of neurotrophin-mediated regulation of interneurons is thought to contribute to the pathological processes underlying CNS dysfunction. This review brings together recently described roles of neurotrophins in migration, differentiation, synaptogenesis during development, and acute effects of neurotrophins in transmission at inhibitory synapses, Cl(-) homeostasis, and network activity of cortical interneurons. The authors also discuss the importance of neurotrophin regulation of GABAergic neurons in schizophrenia and epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Nerve Growth Factors / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / physiology


  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid