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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Subpopulations of neurons expressing parvalbumin in the human amygdala.

Amygdalar intrinsic inhibitory networks comprise several subpopulations of gamma-aminobutyric acidergic neurons, each characterized by distinct morphological features and clusters of functionally relevant neurochemical markers. In rodents, the calcium-binding proteins parvalbumin ( PVB) and calbindin D28k ( CB) are coexpressed in large subpopulations of amygdalar interneurons. PVB-immunoreactive (-IR) neurons have also been shown to be ensheathed by perineuronal nets (PNN), extracellular matrix envelopes believed to affect ionic homeostasis and synaptic plasticity. We tested the hypothesis that differential expression of these three markers may define distinct neuronal subpopulations within the human amygdala. Toward this end, triple-fluorescent labeling using antisera raised against PVB and CB as well as biotinylated Wisteria floribunda lectin for detection of PNN was combined with confocal microscopy. Among the 1,779 PVB-IR neurons counted, 18% also expressed CB, 31% were ensheathed in PNN, and 7% expressed both CB and PNN. Forty-four percent of PVB-IR neurons did not colocalize with either CB or PNN. The distribution of each of these neuronal subgroups showed substantial rostrocaudal gradients. Furthermore, distinct morphological features were found to characterize each neuronal subgroup. In particular, significant differences relative to the distribution and morphology were detected between PVB-IR neurons expressing CB and PVB-IR neurons wrapped in PNNs. These results indicate that amygdalar PVB-IR neurons can be subdivided into at least four different subgroups, each characterized by a specific neurochemical profile, morphological characteristics, and three-dimensional distribution. Such properties suggest that each of these neuronal subpopulations may play a specific role within the intrinsic circuitry of the amygdala. J. Comp. Neurol. 496:706-722, 2006. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.[1]


  1. Subpopulations of neurons expressing parvalbumin in the human amygdala. Pantazopoulos, H., Lange, N., Hassinger, L., Berretta, S. J. Comp. Neurol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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