Chandelier cartridges in the prefrontal cortex are reduced in isolation reared rats



Chandelier neurons are a subset of parvalbumin containing cortical interneurons characterised by their preferential targeting of the axon initial segments of pyramidal neurons. They have been the focus of recent interest after evidence that the arrays of boutons are reduced in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenic patients, post mortem. Since one chandelier neuron may innervate the axon initial segments of several hundred pyramidal neurons, it is hypothesized that their special connectivity might facilitate synchronisation of cortical outputs and play a key role in working memory. Disruption in their function is therefore thought to play a potentially important role in cortically associated symptoms of schizophrenia. Using the isolation rearing animal model of schizophrenia, we examined immunolabelling for GABA-transporter 1, a marker of chandelier cartridges. We show that the numbers of arrays of chandelier axons are reduced by 36% in the ventral prelimbic cortex of isolation-reared rats, compared with their socially-housed litter mates. This mimics findings in the PFC of schizophrenic patients where GAT-1-positive cartridges are reduced by 40% and is the first study to demonstrate changes in chandelier cartridges in an animal model of schizophrenia. Synapse 62:628–631, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.