Biomarkers in Neuropsychiatry (2020-12-01)

Prefrontal cortical alterations of glutamate and GABA neurotransmission in schizophrenia: Insights for rational biomarker development

  • Kirsten E. Schoonover,
  • Samuel J. Dienel,
  • David A. Lewis

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 3
p. 100015


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Certain cognitive deficits in schizophrenia, such as impaired working memory, are thought to reflect alterations in the neural circuitry of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Gamma oscillations in the DLPFC appear to be a neural corollary of working memory function, and the power of these oscillations during working memory tasks is lower in individuals with schizophrenia. Thus, gamma oscillations represent a potentially useful biomarker to index dysfunction in the DLPFC circuitry responsible for working memory in schizophrenia. Postmortem studies, by identifying the cellular basis of DLPFC dysfunction, can help inform the utility of biomarker measures obtained in vivo. Given that gamma oscillations reflect network activity of excitatory pyramidal neurons and inhibitory GABA neurons, we review postmortem findings of alterations to both cell types in the DLPFC and discuss how these findings might inform future biomarker development and use.