The anterior hippocampus and prefrontal cortex are regions linked to symptoms of schizophrenia. The anterior hippocampus is believed to be a key regulator of the mesolimbic dopamine system and is thought to be the driving force contributing to positive symptoms, while the prefrontal cortex is involved in cognitive flexibility and negative symptoms. Aberrant activity in these regions is associated with decreases in GABAergic markers, indicative of an interneuron dysfunction. Specifically, selective decreases are observed in interneurons that contain parvalbumin (PV) or somatostatin (SST). Here, we used viral knockdown in rodents to recapitulate this finding and examine the region-specific roles of PV and SST on neuronal activity and behaviors associated with positive, negative and cognitive symptoms. We found that PV and SST had differential effects on neuronal activity and behavior when knocked down in the ventral hippocampus (vHipp) or medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Specifically, SST or PV knockdown in the vHipp increased pyramidal cell activity of the region and produced downstream effects on dopamine neuron activity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). In contrast, mPFC knockdown did not affect the activity of VTA dopamine neuron activity; however, it did produce deficits in negative (social interaction) and cognitive (reversal learning) domains. Taken together, decreases in PV and/or SST were sufficient to produce schizophrenia-like deficits that were dependent on the region targeted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Biological Psychiatry