Colocalization of calbindin D-28k, calretinin, and GABA immunoreactivities in neurons of the human temporal cortex

J Comp Neurol. 1996 Jun 3;369(3):472-82. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9861(19960603)369:3<472::AID-CNE11>3.0.CO;2-K.


The calcium-binding proteins calbindin D-28k (CalB) and calretinin (CalR) have been shown to be useful markers of neuronal subpopulations located mainly in layers II-III of the neocortex of a variety of species, including human. Double labeling immunocytochemical studies of CalB, CalR, and GABA in experimental animals have shown that CalB and CalR are present in separate subpopulations of neurons. However, there are no studies of colocalization of these calcium-binding proteins and GABA in the human neocortex. The principal goal of the present work was to investigate the degree of colocalization of these substances in layers II-III of the human temporal neocortex, using a postembedding immunocytochemical method. The patterns of staining for CalB, CalR, and GABA in the human cortex were similar to those found in monkey neocortex. However, the degree of colocalization for certain combinations was different from that reported in the monkey and other experimental animals. A relatively large proportion of CalB- and CalR-immunoreactive cells (approximately 71% and 74%, respectively) were found to be immunoreactive for GABA. However, the degree of colocalization of CalB with CalR was low (between 4% and 6%). Thus, our quantitative and qualitative data suggest that these calcium-binding proteins are present in similar cortical circuits in all primates, but that in the human neocortex, there might be additional GABAergic and perhaps also non-GABAergic interneurons with unique chemical characteristics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Calbindin 2
  • Calbindins
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / analysis
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / immunology
  • Neurons / chemistry*
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / analysis
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / immunology*
  • Temporal Lobe / cytology*
  • Tissue Embedding
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / analysis
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / immunology*


  • CALB2 protein, human
  • Calbindin 2
  • Calbindins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid