, Volume 219, Issue 1, pp 395-406
Date: 12 Feb 2013

Differential regulation of parvalbumin and calretinin interneurons in the prefrontal cortex during adolescence

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Abstract

Determining the normal developmental trajectory of individual GABAergic components in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) during the adolescent transition period is critical because local GABAergic interneurons are thought to play an important role in the functional maturation of cognitive control that occurs in this developmental window. Based on the expression of calcium-binding proteins, three distinctive subtypes of interneurons have been identified in the PFC: parvalbumin (PV)-, calretinin (CR)-, and calbindin (CB)-positive cells. Using biochemical and histochemical measures, we found that the protein level of PV is lowest in juveniles [postnatal days (PD) 25–35] and increases during adolescence (PD 45–55) to levels similar to those observed in adulthood (PD 65–75). In contrast, the protein expression of CR is reduced in adults compared to juvenile and adolescent animals, whereas CB levels remain mostly unchanged across the developmental window studied here. Semi-quantitative immunostaining analyses revealed that the periadolescent upregulation of PV and the loss of the CR signal appear to be attributable to changes in PV- and CR-positive innervation, which are dissociable from the trajectory of PV- and CR-positive cell number. At the synaptic level, our electrophysiological data revealed that a developmental facilitation of spontaneous glutamatergic synaptic inputs onto PV-positive/fast-spiking interneurons parallels the increase in prefrontal PV signal during the periadolescent transition. In contrast, no age-dependent changes in glutamatergic transmission were observed in PV-negative/non fast-spiking interneurons. Together, these findings emphasize that GABAergic inhibitory interneurons in the PFC undergo a dynamic, cell type-specific remodeling during adolescence and provide a developmental framework for understanding alterations in GABAergic circuits that occur in psychiatric disorders.