Altered distribution of parvalbumin-immunoreactive local circuit neurons in the anterior cingulate cortex of schizophrenic patients

Psychiatry Res. 1997 Aug 8;75(1):49-59. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4927(97)00020-6.


Several lines of evidence support an involvement of the anterior cingulate cortex in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Immunocytochemical techniques using antibodies against calcium-binding proteins permit a selective demonstration of certain subgroups of cortical GABAergic interneurons. The anterior cingulate cortex from the brains of schizophrenic patients and control subjects was studied with an antibody against parvalbumin. The immunoreactive structures were assessed qualitatively and quantitatively. Parvalbumin immunoreactivity was detected in a subpopulation of GABAergic local circuit neurons, in axonal structures (including axon cartridges) and in diffuse, band-like neuropil material. Schizophrenic anterior cingulate cortex was found to contain the same interneuron types as controls, but displayed a significant increase of parvalbumin-immunoreactive neuronal soma profiles in layers Va and Vb, whereas the total neuronal density determined in Nissl preparations showed no difference in the two groups. A higher density of parvalbumin-positive local circuit neurons may indicate an increased inhibition of projection neurons, thus altering the neuronal output pattern of the anterior cingulate cortex in schizophrenia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Mapping
  • Female
  • Gyrus Cinguli / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Interneurons / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Net / pathology*
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology
  • Parvalbumins / metabolism*
  • Schizophrenia / pathology*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / physiology


  • Parvalbumins
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid