Doctor of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh (2013)
Bachelor of Arts, Saint Marys College Of Maryland (2007)
Schizophrenia is associated with auditory processing impairments that could arise as a result of primary auditory cortex excitatory circuit pathology. We have previously reported a deficit in dendritic spine density in deep layer 3 of primary auditory cortex in subjects with schizophrenia. As boutons and spines can be structurally and functionally co-regulated, we asked whether the densities of intracortical excitatory or thalamocortical presynaptic boutons are also reduced. We studied 2 cohorts of subjects with schizophrenia and matched controls, comprising 27 subject pairs, and assessed the density, number, and within-bouton vesicular glutamate transporter (VGluT) protein level of intracortical excitatory (VGluT1-immunoreactive) and thalamocortical (VGluT2-immunoreactive) boutons in deep layer 3 of primary auditory cortex using quantitative confocal microscopy and stereologic sampling methods. We found that VGluT1- and VGluT2-immunoreactive puncta densities and numbers were not altered in deep layer 3 of primary auditory cortex of subjects with schizophrenia. Our results indicate that reduced dendritic spine density in primary auditory cortex of subjects with schizophrenia is not matched by a corresponding reduction in excitatory bouton density. This suggests excitatory boutons in primary auditory cortex in schizophrenia may synapse with structures other than spines, such as dendritic shafts, with greater frequency. The discrepancy between dendritic spine reduction and excitatory bouton preservation may contribute to functional impairments of the primary auditory cortex in subjects with schizophrenia.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.schres.2013.06.024
View details for Web of Science ID 000323937200020
View details for PubMedID 23830684
Schizophrenia is associated with perceptual and physiological auditory processing impairments that may result from primary auditory cortex excitatory and inhibitory circuit pathology. High-frequency oscillations are important for auditory function and are often reported to be disrupted in schizophrenia. These oscillations may, in part, depend on upregulation of gamma-aminobutyric acid synthesis by glutamate decarboxylase 65 (GAD65) in response to high interneuron firing rates. It is not known whether levels of GAD65 protein or GAD65-expressing boutons are altered in schizophrenia.We studied two cohorts of subjects with schizophrenia and matched control subjects, comprising 27 pairs of subjects. Relative fluorescence intensity, density, volume, and number of GAD65-immunoreactive boutons in primary auditory cortex were measured using quantitative confocal microscopy and stereologic sampling methods. Bouton fluorescence intensities were used to compare the relative expression of GAD65 protein within boutons between diagnostic groups. Additionally, we assessed the correlation between previously measured dendritic spine densities and GAD65-immunoreactive bouton fluorescence intensities.GAD65-immunoreactive bouton fluorescence intensity was reduced by 40% in subjects with schizophrenia and was correlated with previously measured reduced spine density. The reduction was greater in subjects who were not living independently at time of death. In contrast, GAD65-immunoreactive bouton density and number were not altered in deep layer 3 of primary auditory cortex of subjects with schizophrenia.Decreased expression of GAD65 protein within inhibitory boutons could contribute to auditory impairments in schizophrenia. The correlated reductions in dendritic spines and GAD65 protein suggest a relationship between inhibitory and excitatory synapse pathology in primary auditory cortex.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.04.010
View details for Web of Science ID 000309610500005
View details for PubMedID 22624794