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Parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons in the human anteroventral thalamic nucleus

Dixon, Gavin1,2,3; Dissanaike, Sharmila1; Harper, Clive G.2


We immunohistochemically characterised the expression of the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin in the normal human anteroventral thalamic nucleus (AVN). Two morphologically distinct neuronal populations were found to be parvalbumin-immunoreactive (PV-IR): a large population of lightly staining PV-IR neurons and a smaller population of intensely PV-IR neurons. This second type of neuron, which displayed many characteristics normally associated with GABAergic interneurons, has not previously been described in human thalamus. Thus, presumptive thalamic interneurons in the human brain can be further subtyped on the basis of immunoreactivity to parvalbumin. This may have implications for the understanding of thalamocortical function in the normal state and in dysfunctional conditions such as Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome and schizophrenia.

1Neuroscience Institute of Schizophrenia and Allied Disorders, 384 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010 Australia

2Department of Pathology, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006 Australia

3Corresponding Author and Address: Gavin Dixon, Department of Pathology, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006 Australia

Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Neuroscience Institute of Schizophrenia and Allied Disorders (NISAD: and the NH and MRC Network for Brain Research into Mental Disorders. SD was a NISAD Summer Scholar.

Received 7 October 1999; accepted 19 October 1999

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.