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Brain Res. 2005 Jan 21;1031(2):238-44.

A comparison of possible markers for chandelier cartridges in rat medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3QT, United Kingdom. claire.hardwick@pharm.ox.ac.uk


Chandelier neurons and their characteristic arrays of axonal terminals, known as cartridges, have been implicated in a variety of psychiatric and neurological disorders including schizophrenia and epilepsy. As a result, these neurons have been extensively examined in the brains of several species using a range of markers. However, these markers have not been systematically compared in a single species for their robustness in labelling chandelier cell cartridges. We have therefore examined several markers, reported to label chandelier arrays in primates, for their capacity to mark these structures in rat medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. These studies revealed that cartridge-like structures were labelled by parvalbumin and GAT-1 immunohistochemistry in both medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of the rat brain. Additionally, GAD65 immunohistochemistry labelled array-like structures preferentially in the dentate gyrus. In contrast, PSA-NCAM, calbindin and GAD67 immunohistochemistry did not reveal any array-like structures in either region of rat brain. These observations indicate that the various immunological markers previously used to visualise chandelier cell cartridges in primates are not equally efficient in labelling these structures in the rat brain, and that GAT-1 immunohistochemistry is the most robust means of visualising chandelier cell cartridges in the regions examined. These are important considerations for quantitative studies in animal models of neurological disorders where chandelier neurons are implicated.

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