The chandelier neuron in schizophrenia

Dev Neurobiol. 2011 Jan 1;71(1):118-27. doi: 10.1002/dneu.20825.


Markers of GABA neurotransmission between chandelier neurons and their synaptic targets, the axon initial segment (AIS) of pyramidal neurons, are altered in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of subjects with schizophrenia. For example, immunoreactivity for the GABA membrane transporter (GAT1) is decreased in presynaptic chandelier neuron axon terminals, whereas immunoreactivity for the GABA(A) receptor α2 subunit is increased in postsynaptic AIS. These alterations are most marked in cortical layers 2-3. In addition, other determinants of the function of chandelier cell-pyramidal neuron synapses, such as ankyrin-G (which regulates the recruitment of sodium channels to the AIS), are also selectively altered in superficial layer pyramidal neurons in subjects with schizophrenia. Each of these components of chandelier cell-pyramidal neuron connectivity exhibits distinctive developmental trajectories in the primate DLPFC, suggesting that disturbances in these trajectories could contribute to the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Recent findings that inputs from neocortical chandelier neurons are excitatory provide new ideas about the role of this circuitry in the pathophysiology of cortical dysfunction in schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Interneurons / metabolism
  • Interneurons / pathology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / pathology
  • Schizophrenia / pathology*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / physiology


  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid