Feature Finding Title
Feature Finding Figure
Dysfunction of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in schizophrenia is associated with lamina-specific alterations in particular subpopulations of interneurons. In pyramidal cells, postsynaptic GABAA receptors containing different subunits are inserted preferentially in distinct subcellular locations targeted by inputs from specific interneuron subpopulations. We used in situ hybridization to quantify the laminar expression of α1, α2, α3, and α5 subunit, and of β1-3 subunit, mRNAs in the DLFPC of schizophrenia and matched normal comparison subjects. In subjects with schizophrenia, mean GABAA α1 mRNA expression was 17% lower in layers 3-4, α2 expression was 14% higher in layer 2, α5 expression was 15% lower in layer 4, and α3 expression did not differ relative to comparison subjects. The mRNA expression of β2, which preferentially assembles with α1 subunits, was also 20% lower in layers 3-4, whereas β1 and β3 mRNA levels were not altered in schizophrenia. These expression differences were not attributable to medication effects or other potential confounds. These findings suggest that GABA neurotransmission in the DLPFC is altered at the postsynaptic level in a receptor subunit- and layer-specific manner in subjects with schizophrenia (see figure), and support the hypothesis that GABA neurotransmission in this illness is predominantly impaired in certain cortical microcircuits.
Beneyto M, Abbott A, Hashimoto T, Lewis DA: Lamina-specific alterations in cortical GABAA receptor subunit expression in schizophrenia. Cereb Cortex, ePub September 15, 2010.

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David A. Lewis, M.D. | Department of Psychiatry | University of Pittsburgh
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