Autism and Schizophrenia Linked to Special Class of Inhibitory Neurons

The loss of a critical receptor in a special class of inhibitory neurons in the brain may be responsible for neurodevelopmental disorders including autism and schizophrenia, according to new research by Salk scientists.

The research is in Molecular Psychiatry. (full access paywall)

Research: “Disruption of mGluR5 in parvalbumin-positive interneurons induces core features of neurodevelopmental disorders” by S A Barnes, A Pinto-Duarte, A Kappe, A Zembrzycki, A Metzler, E A Mukamel, J Lucero, X Wang, T J Sejnowski, A Markou and M M Behrens in Molecular Psychiatry doi:10.1038/mp.2015.113

Image: When mice are engineered to lack the mGluR5 receptor in parvalbumin cells (right), they have fewer inhibitory (red) connections controlling the activity of excitatory neurons. Image credit: Salk Institute.