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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2011, Article ID 649325, 25 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/649325
Review Article

Genetics and Function of Neocortical GABAergic Interneurons in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

1Department of Pediatrics, Neurology, Sainte-Justine Hospital and Research Center, 3175 Chemin de la Côte Sainte-Catherine, Montreal, QC, Canada H3T 1C5
2Department of Pediatrics, Brain Disease Research Group, Sainte-Justine Hospital and Research Center, 3175 Chemin de la Côte Sainte-Catherine, Montreal, QC, Canada H3T 1C5

Received 28 February 2011; Accepted 4 May 2011

Academic Editor: Graziella Di Cristo

Copyright © 2011 E. Rossignol. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A dysfunction of cortical and limbic GABAergic circuits has been postulated to contribute to multiple neurodevelopmental disorders in humans, including schizophrenia, autism, and epilepsy. In the current paper, I summarize the characteristics that underlie the great diversity of cortical GABAergic interneurons and explore how the multiple roles of these cells in developing and mature circuits might contribute to the aforementioned disorders. Furthermore, I review the tightly controlled genetic cascades that determine the fate of cortical interneurons and summarize how the dysfunction of genes important for the generation, specification, maturation, and function of cortical interneurons might contribute to these disorders.