Apr 10, 2013
CEREBRART - Basket Cell
Recent evidence from electrophysiological, physiological and anatomical studies suggests that abnormalities in the oscillatory activity of brain cells may have a central role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. There is evidence towards cortical hyperexcitability in schizophrenics - “Glutamate Chaos” because of a lack of inhibition.
Dysfunctional oscillations may arise owing to anomalies in the brain’s rhythm-generating networks of GABA-interneurons.
Of the GABA-interneurons types, the cortical Basket Cells are very characteristic in that their axons, when viewed under the microscope, terminate on somata and proximal dendrites of Pyramidal Cells. Therefore, Basket Cells, whose axon terminals surround principal cell somata and proximal dendrites, have a privileged and influential position for regulating the firing of Pyramidal Cells.
The strategic location of Basket Cells axons has long suggested that they subserve inhibitory
mechanisms on the somata of Pyramidal Cells possibly preventing and limiting chaotic processes - “Glutamate Chaos” - in the network of Pyramidal Cells. Thus, altered perisomatic inhibition of Pyramidal Cells by Basket Cells could provide a plausible mechanistic basis for the gamma-oscillation impairments and cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. In the future, this hypothesis may provide a powerful research tool to gain new insights on ways to limit chaotic processes and restore gamma oscillations in schizophrenia.
This CEREBRART work illustrates these ideas artistically.