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Reduced density of calbindin-containing interneurons in the prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia has been reported (Beasley et al 2002; Biol Psych 52:708-715). Calbindin is a calcium-binding protein (CBP) present in a subpopulation of GABAergic neurons restricted mainly to layer II of the cortex. A paraffin-embedded, 10-mum-thick section from the planum temporale (PT) of each hemisphere was prepared from 12 patients with schizophrenia and 12 controls. Calbindin-containing cells were stained using an antibody (D-28K). Counting frames were superimposed to sample within layer II of the PT. A bilateral reduction (20%) in calbindin cell density was found in patients (controlling for fixation time). Furthermore, mean calbindin cell cross-sectional area was increased in female patients and reduced in male patients. Reduced CBP expression (reducing the excitability of interneurons) or reduced number of CBP-containing cells may cause disinhibition of pyramidal cells. The majority of calbindin-containing cells in the mature brain are double-bouquet cells with vertically oriented dendrites and axon bundles. By exercising inhibitory modulation of pyramidal cells in a columnar arrangement, they make possible cohesive vertical inhibition of minicolumns. Loss of columnar inhibition may result in reduced minicolumnar segregation and altered cell size may reflect altered minicolumn size.

Original publication




Journal article


Brain Res

Publication Date





32 - 37


Adult, Aged, Analysis of Variance, Calbindins, Cell Count, Female, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Interneurons, Male, Middle Aged, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Reference Values, S100 Calcium Binding Protein G, Schizophrenia, Sex Factors, Single-Blind Method, Specimen Handling, Statistics, Nonparametric, Temporal Lobe, Tissue Fixation