NMDA-receptor inhibition and oxidative stress during hippocampal maturation differentially alter parvalbumin expression and gamma-band activity


Dysfunction of parvalbumin (PV)-expressing interneurons is thought to underlie the alterations of gamma-band oscillations observed in schizophrenia. Although the pathomechanisms of this disease remain unclear, oxidative stress induced by NMDA receptor (NMDAR) hypofunction and decreased glutathione (GSH) synthesizing capacity have been shown to lead to PV-loss and aberrant oscillatory activity. However, the individual contributions of NMDAR-inhibition and GSH-depletion to the developmental alterations observed in schizophrenia are largely unknown. We therefore investigated each condition in isolation using hippocampal slice cultures wherein interneuron maturation occurs entirely in vitro. Although both treatments caused oxidative stress, NMDAR-inhibition led to an immediate reduction in gamma oscillation frequency and a delayed loss of PV. In contrast, GSH-depletion immediately decreased PV expression and increased power, without affecting frequency. Hence, although disturbances of PV-expression and gamma oscillations coexist in schizophrenia, they can arise from separate pathological processes.

Journal details

Volume 8
Issue number 1
Pages 9545
Available online
Publication date


Crick authors

Crick First author
Crick Corresponding author