Spinal Inhibitory Interneuron Diversity Delineates Variant Motor Microcircuits

Jay B. Bikoff*, Mariano I. Gabitto, Andre F. Rivard, Estelle Drobac, Timothy A. MacHado, Andrew Miri, Susan Brenner-Morton, Erica Famojure, Carolyn Diaz, Francisco J. Alvarez, George Z. Mentis, Thomas M. Jessell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Summary Animals generate movement by engaging spinal circuits that direct precise sequences of muscle contraction, but the identity and organizational logic of local interneurons that lie at the core of these circuits remain unresolved. Here, we show that V1 interneurons, a major inhibitory population that controls motor output, fractionate into highly diverse subsets on the basis of the expression of 19 transcription factors. Transcriptionally defined V1 subsets exhibit distinct physiological signatures and highly structured spatial distributions with mediolateral and dorsoventral positional biases. These positional distinctions constrain patterns of input from sensory and motor neurons and, as such, suggest that interneuron position is a determinant of microcircuit organization. Moreover, V1 diversity indicates that different inhibitory microcircuits exist for motor pools controlling hip, ankle, and foot muscles, revealing a variable circuit architecture for interneurons that control limb movement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-219
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 24 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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