Cell surface domain specific postsynaptic currents evoked by identified GABAergic neurones in rat hippocampus in vitro

Gianmaria Maccaferri, J. David B Roberts, Peter Szucs, Carol A. Cottingham, Peter Somogyi

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123 Scopus citations


1. Inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) evoked in CA1. pyramidal cells (n = 46) by identified interneurones (n = 43) located in str. oriens were recorded in order to compare their functional properties and to determine the effect of synapse location on the apparent IPSC kinetics as recorded using somatic voltage clamp at -70 mV and nearly symmetrical [Cl-]. 2. Five types of visualised presynaptic interneurone, oriens-lacunosum moleculare (O-LMC), basket (BC)), axo-axonic (AAC), bistratified (BiC) and oriens-bistratified (O-BiC) cells, were distinguished by immunocytochemistry and/or synapse location using light and electron microscopy. 3. Somatostatin immunoreactive O-LMCs, innervating the most distal dendritic shafts and spines, evoked the smallest amplitude (26 ± 10 pA, S.E.M., n = 8) and slowest IPSCs (10-90% rise time, 6.2 ± 0.6 ms; decay, 20.8 ± 1.7 ms, n = 8), with no paired-pulse modulation of the second IPSC (93 ± 4%) at 100 ms interspike interval. In contrast, parvalbumin-positive AACs evoked larger amplitude (308 ± 103 pA, n = 7) and kinetically faster (rise time, 0.8 ± 0.1 ms; decay 11.2 ± 0.9 ms, n = 7) IPSCs showing paired-pulse depression (to 68 ± 5%, n = 6). Parvalbumin- or CCK-positive BCs (n = 9) terminating on soma/dendrites, BiCs (n = 4) and O-BiCs (n = 7) innervating dendrites evoked IPSCs with intermediate kinetic parameters. The properties of IPSCs and sensitivity to bicuculline indicated that they were mediated by GABA, receptors. 4. In three cases, kinetically complex, multiphasic IPSCs, evoked by an action potential in the recorded basket cells, suggested that coupled interneurones, possibly through electrotonic junctions, converged on the same postsynaptic neurone. 5. The population of O-BiCs (4 of 4 somatostatin positive) characterised in this study had horizontal dendrites restricted to str. oriens/alveus and innervated stratum radiatum and oriens. Other BiCs had radial dendrites as described earlier. The parameters of IPSCs evoked by BiCs and O-BiCs showed the largest cell to cell variation, and a single interneurone could evoke both small and slow as well as large and relatively fast IPSCs. 6. The kinetic properties of the somatically recorded postsynaptic current are correlated with the innervated cell surface domain. A significant correlation of rise and decay times for the overall population of unitary IPSCs suggests that electrotonic filtering of distal responses is a major factor for. the location and cell type specific differences of unitary IPSCs, but molecular heterogeneity-of postsynaptic GABA, receptors may also contribute to the observed kinetic differences. Furthermore, domain specific differences in the short-term plasticity of the postsynaptic response indicate a differentiation of interneurones in activity-dependent responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-116
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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