August 01, 2005

Calbindin-Immunoreactive Interneurons in Schizophrenia

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology

Those with schizophrenia reportedly have a reduced density of calbindin-immunoreactive interneurons in the prefrontal cortex. Calbindin is a "calcium binding protein" found mainly in that area of the brain. 12 patients with schizophrenia and 12 controls were used in this experiment.

Reductions of calbindin proteins in schizophrenia patients have been shown before in other brain regions, such as the prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, and hippocampus.

The authors of the current study suggested that reduced calbindin (and consequently, less inhibition of the pyramidal brain cells in the temporal lobe) may have something to do with the auditory and language processing deficits often experienced by people with schizophrenia.

Reduced inhibition of local cells around the areas with fewer calbindin proteins may result in these groups of cells relaying sensory information in an abnormal, disorganized way. Normally, the cells in this brain region are organized into small "minicolumn" groups, and communicate together in a synchronized fashion. Columnar organization of cells in the cortex is how the brain is able to accurately process the large amounts of sensory stimuli that it recieves.

This study gives insight into the physiological differences of a person with schizophrenia compared with a mentally healthy person, and gives a possible mechanism for some schizophrenia symptoms.

Chance and colleagues published their study in Brain Research (Reduced density of calbindin-immunoreactive interneurons in the planum temporale in schizophrenia. Brain Res, 2005;1046(1-2):32-7).

Additional information can be obtained by contacting S.A. Chance,
Schizophrenia Research, Neuropathology, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford,
United Kingdom.

The source of this article is Life Science Weekly via


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