Expression of Interneuron Markers in the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex of the Developing Human and in Schizophrenia
ABSTRACT The onset of schizophrenia symptoms in late adolescence implies a neurodevelopmental trajectory for the disease. Indeed, the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) inhibitory system shows protracted development, and GABA-ergic deficits are widely replicated in postmortem schizophrenia studies. The authors examined expression of several interneuron markers across postnatal human development and in schizophrenia to assess whether protracted development of certain interneuron subpopulations may be associated with a particular vulnerability in schizophrenia.
RNA was extracted postmortem from dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of individuals from age 6 weeks to 49 years (N=68) and from a cohort of normal comparison subjects and schizophrenia patients (N=74, 37 pairs). Expression levels of parvalbumin, cholecystokinin, somatostatin, neuropeptide Y, calretinin, calbindin, and vasoactive intestinal peptide were measured by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Changes in calretinin protein levels were examined by Western blot.
Interneuron marker genes followed one of three general expression profiles: either increasing (parvalbumin, cholecystokinin) or decreasing (somatostatin, calretinin, neuropeptide Y) in expression over postnatal life, with the most dramatic changes seen in the first few years before reaching a plateau; or increasing to peak expression in the toddler years before decreasing (calbindin, vasoactive intestinal peptide). mRNA expression of all genes, with the exception of calbindin (which increased), showed a reduction (8%-31%) in schizophrenia. Somatostatin showed the most dramatic reduction (31%) in schizophrenia.
It appears that a heterogeneous population of interneurons is implicated in schizophrenia. Further studies are needed to determine whether specific interneuron subpopulations are altered or whether common or distinct upstream pathways are responsible for interneuron deficits in schizophrenia.
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ABSTRACT: Hyperactivity within the ventral hippocampus (vHPC) has been linked to both psychosis in humans and behavioral deficits in animal models of schizophrenia. A local decrease in GABA-mediated inhibition, particularly involving parvalbumin (PV)-expressing GABA neurons, has been proposed as a key mechanism underlying this hyperactive state. However, direct evidence is lacking for a causal role of vHPC GABA neurons in behaviors associated with schizophrenia. Here, we probed the behavioral function of two different but overlapping populations of vHPC GABA neurons that express either PV or GAD65 by selectively inhibiting these neurons with the pharmacogenetic neuromodulator hM4D. We show that acute inhibition of vHPC GABA neurons in adult mice results in behavioral changes relevant to schizophrenia. Inhibiting either PV or GAD65 neurons produced distinct behavioral deficits. Inhibition of PV neurons, affecting ∼80% of the PV neuron population, robustly impaired prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex (PPI), startle reactivity, and spontaneous alternation, but did not affect locomotor activity. In contrast, inhibiting a heterogeneous population of GAD65 neurons, affecting ∼40% of PV neurons and 65% of cholecystokinin neurons, increased spontaneous and amphetamine-induced locomotor activity and reduced spontaneous alternation, but did not alter PPI. Inhibition of PV or GAD65 neurons also produced distinct changes in network oscillatory activity in the vHPC in vivo. Together, these findings establish a causal role for vHPC GABA neurons in controlling behaviors relevant to schizophrenia and suggest a functional dissociation between the GABAergic mechanisms involved in hippocampal modulation of sensorimotor processes.The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 11/2014; 34(45). DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2204-14.2014 · 6.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A variety of anatomical and physiological evidence suggests that the brain performs computations using motifs that are repeated across species, brain areas, and modalities. The computational architecture of cortex, for example, is very similar from one area to another and the types, arrangements, and connections of cortical neurons are highly stereotyped. This supports the idea that each cortical area conducts calculations using similarly structured neuronal modules: what we term canonical computational motifs. In addition, the remarkable self-similarity of the brain observables at the micro-, meso- and macro-scale further suggests that these motifs are repeated at increasing spatial and temporal scales supporting brain activity from primary motor and sensory processing to higher-level behaviour and cognition. Here, we briefly review the biological bases of canonical brain circuits and the role of inhibitory interneurons in these computational elements. We then elucidate how canonical computational motifs can be repeated across spatial and temporal scales to build a multiplexing information system able to encode and transmit information of increasing complexity. We point to the similarities between the patterns of activation observed in primary sensory cortices by use of electrophysiology and those observed in large scale networks measured with fMRI. We then employ the canonical model of brain function to unify seemingly disparate evidence on the pathophysiology of schizophrenia in a single explanatory framework. We hypothesise that such a framework may also be extended to cover multiple brain disorders which are grounded in dysfunction of GABA interneurons and/or these computational motifs. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 05/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2015.04.014 · 10.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Impaired γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) signaling may contribute to the emergence of cognitive deficits and subcortical dopaminergic hyperactivity in patients with schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders. Against this background, it has been proposed that pharmacological interventions targeting GABAergic dysfunctions may prove useful in correcting such cognitive impairments and dopaminergic imbalances. Here, we explored possible beneficial effects of the benzodiazepine-positive allosteric modulator SH-053-2'F-S-CH3, with partial selectivity at the α2, α3, and α5 subunits of the GABAA receptor in an immune-mediated neurodevelopmental disruption model. The model is based on prenatal administration of the viral mimetic polyriboinosinic-polyribocytidilic acid [poly(I:C)] in mice, which is known to capture various GABAergic, dopamine-related, and cognitive abnormalities implicated in schizophrenia and related disorders. Real-time polymerase chain reaction analyses confirmed the expected alterations in GABAA receptor α subunit gene expression in the medial prefrontal cortices and ventral hippocampi of adult poly(I:C) offspring relative to control offspring. Systemic administration of SH-053-2'F-S-CH3 failed to normalize the poly(I:C)-induced deficits in working memory and social interaction, but instead impaired performance in these cognitive and behavioral domains both in control and poly(I:C) offspring. In contrast, SH-053-2'F-S-CH3 was highly effective in mitigating the poly(I:C)-induced amphetamine hypersensitivity phenotype without causing side effects in control offspring. Our preclinical data suggest that benzodiazepine-like positive allosteric modulators with activity at the α2, α3, and α5 subunits of the GABAA receptor may be particularly useful in correcting pathological overactivity of the dopaminergic system, but they may be ineffective in targeting multiple pathological domains that involve the co-existence of psychotic, social, and cognitive dysfunctions. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.Schizophrenia Research 01/2015; 153(4). DOI:10.1093/ijnp/pyu055 · 4.43 Impact Factor