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Sci Rep. 2015 Nov 26;5:16778. doi: 10.1038/srep16778.

Parvalbumin-positive interneurons of the prefrontal cortex support working memory and cognitive flexibility.

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Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD, United Kingdom.
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Institute of Physiology, Christian Albrechts University Kiel, 24098 Kiel, Germany.


Dysfunction of parvalbumin (PV)-positive GABAergic interneurons (PVIs) within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been implicated in schizophrenia pathology. It is however unclear, how impaired signaling of these neurons may contribute to PFC dysfunction. To identify how PVIs contribute to PFC-dependent behaviors we inactivated PVIs in the PFC in mice using region- and cell-type-selective expression of tetanus toxin light chain (TeLC) and compared the functional consequences of this manipulation with non-cell-type-selective perturbations of the same circuitry. By sampling for behavioral alterations that map onto distinct symptom categories in schizophrenia, we show that dysfunction of PVI signaling in the PFC specifically produces deficits in the cognitive domain, but does not give rise to PFC-dependent correlates of negative or positive symptoms. Our results suggest that distinct aspects of the complex symptomatology of PFC dysfunction in schizophrenia can be attributed to specific prefrontal circuit elements.

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