In vertebrates, faster movements involve the orderly recruitment of different types of spinal motor neurons. However, it is not known how premotor inhibitory circuits are organized to ensure alternating motor output at different movement speeds. We found that different types of commissural inhibitory interneurons in zebrafish form compartmental microcircuits during development that align inhibitory strength and recruitment order. Axonal microcircuits develop first and provide the most potent premotor inhibition during the fastest movements, followed by perisomatic microcircuits, and then dendritic microcircuits that provide the weakest inhibition during the slowest movements. The conversion of a temporal sequence of neuronal development into a spatial pattern of inhibitory connections provides an "ontogenotopic"solution to the problem of shaping spinal motor output at different speeds of movement.
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