Schizophrenia and anteroventral thalamic nucleus: Selective decrease of parvalbumin-immunoreactive thalamocortical projection neurons

Peter Danos, Bruno Baumann, Hans Gert Bernstein, Michael Franz, Renate Stauch, Georg Northoff, Dieter Krell, Peter Falkai, Bernhard Bogerts

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This study was designed to examine possible anatomical changes of thalamocortical circuits in schizophrenics. Previous immunocytochemical studies have shown that parvalbumin, a calcium-binding protein, occurs in thalamocortical projection neurons, but not in GABAergic interneurons in the anteroventral thalamic nucleus (AN). Using parvalbumin-immunocytochemistry we investigated the densities of thalamocortical projection neurons in the AN of schizophrenic cases (n = 12) and controls (n = 14). The densities of all neurons in the AN were estimated by Nissl-staining. The majority of thalamocortical projection neurons in AN were identified by parvalbumin- immunoreaction. Significantly reduced densities of thalamocortical projection neurons were estimated in the right (P = 0.003) and left AN (P = 0.018) in schizophrenic subjects. The densities of all neurons in right and left AN were also diminished in schizophrenics; however, these decreases did not reach statistical significance. The reductions of parvalbumin-positive thalamocortical projection neurons were not correlated with the length of disease, this finding supporting the neurodevelopmental etiology of structural abnormalities in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 10 1998



  • Calcium- binding proteins
  • Limbic thalamus
  • Post-mortem studies
  • Thalamic projecting neurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychology(all)

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