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, 59 (1-2), 81-96

Local Circuit Neurons of the Prefrontal Cortex in Schizophrenia: Selective Increase in the Density of Calbindin-Immunoreactive Neurons

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Local Circuit Neurons of the Prefrontal Cortex in Schizophrenia: Selective Increase in the Density of Calbindin-Immunoreactive Neurons

S R Daviss et al. Psychiatry Res.

Abstract

Schizophrenia has been reported to be associated with alterations in GABAergic local circuit neurons of the prefrontal cortex. In this study, immunocytochemical techniques and antibodies against the calcium-binding proteins calbindin (CB) and calretinin (CR) were used to determine the laminar distribution and relative density of separate subpopulations of local circuit neurons in prefrontal cortical areas 9 and 46 from five pairs of schizophrenic and control subjects, matched for age, sex, and post-mortem interval. The laminar distribution pattern of CB-immunoreactive local circuit neurons was similar in both schizophrenic and control subjects. In both prefrontal regions, however, the density of CB-labeled neurons was 50-70% greater in schizophrenic subjects compared with control subjects, with cortical layers III and V/VI being preferentially affected. In contrast, the density of CR-IR neurons did not differ significantly between schizophrenic and control subjects. These findings reveal a selective increase in the density of a subpopulation of GABAergic local circuit neurons in the prefrontal cortex. Although other explanations for these observations must be considered, they may be consistent with the hypothesis that gene expression in GABAergic neurons is altered in schizophrenia.

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