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      Striatal parvalbuminergic neurons are lost in Huntington's disease: implications for dystonia

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          Although dystonia represents a major source of motor disability in Huntington's disease (HD), its pathophysiology remains unknown. Because recent animal studies indicate that loss of parvalbuminergic (PARV+) striatal interneurons can cause dystonia, we investigated if loss of PARV+ striatal interneurons occurs during human HD progression, and thus might contribute to dystonia in HD. We used immunolabeling to detect PARV+ interneurons in fixed sections, and corrected for disease-related striatal atrophy by expressing PARV+ interneuron counts in ratio to interneurons co-containing somatostatin and neuropeptide Y (whose numbers are unaffected in HD). At all symptomatic HD grades, PARV+ interneurons were reduced to less than 26% of normal abundance in rostral caudate. In putamen rostral to the level of globus pallidus, loss of PARV+ interneurons was more gradual, not dropping off to less than 20% of control until grade 2. Loss of PARV+ interneurons was even more gradual in motor putamen at globus pallidus levels, with no loss at grade 1, and steady grade-wise decline thereafter. A large decrease in striatal PARV+ interneurons, thus, occurs in HD with advancing disease grade, with regional variation in the loss per grade. Given the findings of animal studies and the grade-wise loss of PARV+ striatal interneurons in motor striatum in parallel with the grade-wise appearance and worsening of dystonia, our results raise the possibility that loss of PARV+ striatal interneurons is a contributor to dystonia in HD.

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          Most cited references 74

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          Calbindin D-28k and parvalbumin in the rat nervous system.

           M Celio (1989)
          This paper describes the distribution of structures stained with mono- and polyclonal antibodies to the calcium-binding proteins calbindin D-28k and parvalbumin in the nervous system of adult rats. As a general characterization it can be stated that calbindin antibodies mainly label cells with thin, unmyelinated axons projecting in a diffuse manner. On the other hand, parvalbumin mostly occurs in cells with thick, myelinated axons and restricted, focused projection fields. The distinctive staining with antibodies against these two proteins can be observed throughout the nervous system. Calbindin D-28k is primarily associated with long-axon neurons (Golgi type I cells) exemplified by thalamic projection neurons, strionigral neurons, nucleus basalis Meynert neurons, cerebellar Purkinje cells, large spinal-, retinal-, cochlear- and vestibular ganglion cells. Calbindin D-28k occurs in all major pathways of the limbic system with the exception of the fornix. Calbindin D-28k is, however, also found in some short-axon cells (Golgi type II), represented by spinal cord interneurons in layer II and interneurons of the cerebral cortex. It is also detectable in some ependymal cells and abundantly occurs in vegetative centres of the hypothalamus. The "paracrine core" of the nervous system and its adjunct (1985, Nieuwenhuys, Chemoarchitecture of the Brain. Springer, Berlin) is very rich in calbindin D-28k. The distribution of calbindin D-28k-positive neurons is very similar to that of the dihydroperydine subtype of calcium channels. Most of the cells containing calbindin D-28k are vulnerable to neurodegenerative processes. Parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons have a different, and mostly complementary distribution compared with those which react with calbindin D-28k antisera, but in a few cases (Purkinje cells of the cerebellum, spinal ganglion neurons), both calcium-binding proteins co-exist in the same neuron. Many parvalbumin-immunoreactive cells in the central nervous system are interneurons (Golgi type II) and, to a lesser extent, long-axon cells (Golgi type I), whereas conditions are vice versa in the peripheral nervous system. Intrinsic parvalbuminic neurons are prominent in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, cerebellar cortex and spinal cord. Long-axon parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons are, for example, the Purkinje cells, neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus, globus pallidus, substantia nigra (pars reticulata) and a subpopulation among large spinal-, retinal-, cochlear- and vestibular ganglion cells. Parvalbumin is rich in cranial nerve nuclei related to eye movements. In addition to nervous elements, parvalbumin immunoreactivity occurs in a few ependymal cells and in some pillar cells of the organ of Corti.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
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            Altered parvalbumin-positive neuron distribution in basal ganglia of individuals with Tourette syndrome.

            Tourette syndrome (TS) is a childhood neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by motor and vocal tics. Imaging studies found alterations in caudate (Cd) and putamen volumes. To investigate possible alterations in cell populations, postmortem basal ganglia tissue from individuals with TS and normal controls was analyzed by using unbiased stereological techniques. A markedly higher total neuron number was found in the globus pallidus pars interna (GPi) of TS. In contrast, a lower neuron number and density was observed in the globus pallidus pars externa and in the Cd. An increased number and proportion of the GPi neurons were positive for the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin in tissue from TS subjects, whereas lower densities of parvalbumin-positive interneurons were observed in both the Cd and putamen of TS subjects. This change is consistent with a developmental defect in tangential migration of some GABAergic neurons. The imbalance in striatal and GPi inhibitory neuron distribution suggests that the functional dynamics of cortico-striato-thalamic circuitry are fundamentally altered in severe, persistent TS.
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              Decreased number of parvalbumin and cholinergic interneurons in the striatum of individuals with Tourette syndrome.

              Corticobasal ganglia neuronal ensembles bring automatic motor skills into voluntary control and integrate them into ongoing motor behavior. A 5% decrease in caudate (Cd) nucleus volume is the most consistent structural finding in the brain of patients with Tourette syndrome (TS), but the cellular abnormalities that underlie this decrease in volume are unclear. In this study the density of different types of interneurons and medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the striatum was assessed in the postmortem brains of 5 TS subjects as compared with normal controls (NC) by unbiased stereological analyses. TS patients demonstrated a 50%-60% decrease of both parvalbumin (PV)+ and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)+ cholinergic interneurons in the Cd and the putamen (Pt). Cholinergic interneurons were decreased in TS patients in the associative and sensorimotor regions but not in the limbic regions of the striatum, such that the normal gradient in density of cholinergic cells (highest in associative regions, intermediate in sensorimotor and lowest in limbic regions) was abolished. No significant difference was present in the densities of medium-sized calretinin (CR)+ interneurons, MSNs, and total neurons. The selective deficit of PV+ and cholinergic striatal interneurons in TS subjects may result in an impaired cortico/thalamic control of striatal neuron firing in TS.

                Author and article information

                Mov Disord
                Mov. Disord
                Movement Disorders
                Blackwell Publishing Ltd
                October 2013
                03 September 2013
                : 28
                : 12
                : 1691-1699
                [1 ]Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center Memphis, Tennessee, USA
                [2 ]Centre for Brain Research, University of Auckland Auckland, New Zealand
                [3 ]Department of Psychology, University of Auckland Auckland, New Zealand
                [4 ]Department of Neurology, Auckland City Hospital Auckland, New Zealand
                [5 ]Department of Anatomy with Radiology, University of Auckland Auckland, New Zealand
                Author notes
                * Correspondence to: Dr. Anton Reiner, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 855 Monroe Ave., Memphis, TN 38163, USA; areiner@ 123456uthsc.edu
                © 2013 Movement Disorder Society

                This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

                Research Articles


                huntington's disease, dystonia, striatum, parvalbuminergic interneurons


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