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Title: Function of prefrontal GABAergic interneurons in behaviour : a relevance to schizophrenia
Author: Wołoszynowska-Fraser, Marta Urszula
ISNI:       0000 0004 5914 4906
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2016
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The inhibitory circuitry of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in working memory and modulation of brain oscillations. Alterations in this network and especially GABAergic cells that express cholecystokinin (CCK), parvalbumin (PV), or somatostatin (SST) may underlie some of the cognitive deficits observed in schizophrenia. To assess the involvement of CCK+, PV+, and SST+ interneurons in PFC-dependent behaviours, we selectively inactivated these in prelimbic and infralimbic PFC via virus-mediated expression of tetanus toxin light chain (TeLC). We found that functional removal of CCK+ or PV+, but not SST+ neurons leads to specific impairments in working memory, and these represent the main cognitive domains affected in schizophrenia. PV-TeLC and CCK-TeLC mice displayed significant Y-maze alternation index reduction (p < 0.05). Targeting of PV+ prefrontal cells causes anxiety-like phenotype. Moreover, PV+ and SST+, but not CCK+ interneurons, appear to play a role in latent inhibition. Functional removal of CCK+, PV+ and CCK+ cells from PFC does not affect circadian activity and does not cause anhedonia. The involvement of PV-network in generation of neuronal activity and acetylcholine homeostasis was assessed. For neurophysiological recordings, each arm of the Y-maze divided into two equal-sized zones – proximal (close to the central decision point) and distal (far end). Zone entry was event-mapped onto continues local field potential recordings from medial PFC and CA1 region of the hippocampus. PV-TeLC animals displayed significantly lower prefrontal power in the decision zone. This suggests that the PV-TeLC animals are unable to modulate neuronal activity depending on the cognitive demand. Functional removal of prefrontal PV+ interneurons also leads to disturbed acetylcholine homeostasis. These results show that prefrontal GABAergic cells drive different behaviours and control task-relevant neuronal activity in different brain regions engaged with working memory such as hippocampus. Similar signalling anomalies may thus underlie cognitive deficits found in schizophrenia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Schizophrenia ; GABA ; Interneurons ; Short-term memory