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CTMHR Undergarduate Research Fellows Work Published in Neuropsychopharmacology

The work of Sowmya Sanapala, Aaron Foglio and Raissa Berry, former fellows in the Conte Center for Translational Mental Health Research (CTMHR) Undergraduate Research Program (URP) who worked under the mentorship of Dr. John Enwright, was published in Neuropsychopharmacology online.

The study used confocal microscopy to examine the densities and quantify the fluorescent-labeling intensities of PV neurons and PNNs detected with WFA or immunoreactive for the major PNN protein, aggrecan, in the DLPFC from schizophrenia and matched comparison subjects. They found that in schizophrenia, the densities of PV cells and of PNNs were not altered; however, the intensities of PV immunoreactivity in cell bodies and of WFA labeling and aggrecan immunoreactivity in individual PNNs around PV cells were lower.

The publication, “Reduced Labeling of Parvalbumin Neurons and Perineuronal Nets in the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex of Subjects with Schizophrenia” reports how their findings indicate that the normal complements of PV cells and PNNs are preserved in schizophrenia, but the levels of PV protein and of individual PNN components, especially the carbohydrate moieties on the proteoglycans to which WFA binds, are lower. Given the roles of PV neurons in regulating DLPFC microcircuits and of PNNs in regulating PV cellular physiology, the identified alterations in PV neurons and their PNNs could contribute to DLPFC dysfunction in schizophrenia.
Silvio O. Conte Center for Translational Mental Health Research
Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (MH103204)

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