Ketamine-Treatment During Late Adolescence Impairs Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in the Prefrontal Cortex and Working Memory in Adult Rats

Schizophrenia (SZ) is associated with changes in the structure and function of several brain areas. Several findings suggest that these impairments are related to a dysfunction in g-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmission in brain areas such as the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), the hippocampus (HPC) and the primary auditory cortex (A1); however, it is still unclear how the GABAergic system is disrupted in these brain areas. Here, we examined the effect of ketamine (Ket) administration during late adolescence in rats on inhibition in the mPFC-, ventral HPC (vHPC), and A1. We observe that Ket treatment reduced the expression of the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin (PV) and the GABA-producing enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67) as well as decreased inhibitory synaptic efficacy in the mPFC. In addition, Kettreated rats performed worse in executive tasks that depend on the integrity and proper functioning of the mPFC. Conversely, we do not find such changes in vHPC or A1. Together, our results provide strong experimental support for the hypothesis that during adolescence, the function of the mPFC is more susceptible than that of HPC or A1 to NMDAR hypofunction, showing apparent structure specificity. Thus, the impairment of inhibitory circuitry in mPFC could be a convergent primary site of SZ-like behavior during the adulthood.
Ketamine, Late adolescence, PV-INs, GABA, mPFC, Schizophrenia-like behavior