Pattern-dependent, simultaneous plasticity differentially transforms the input-output relationship of a feedforward circuit.
ABSTRACT: Memories are believed to be encoded by changes in the synaptic connections between neurons. Although many forms of synaptic plasticity have been identified, it remains unknown how such changes affect local circuits. Feedforward inhibitory networks are a common type of local circuitry and occur when principal neurons and their afferent inhibitory interneurons receive the same input. Using slices of cerebellar cortex, we explored how synaptic plasticity at multiple sites within a feedforward inhibitory network consisting of parallel fibers, interneurons, and Purkinje neurons alters the output of this circuit. We found that stimuli resembling baseline activity potentiated feedforward excitatory and simultaneously depressed feedforward inhibitory pathways. In contrast, stimuli resembling sensory-evoked patterns of firing potentiated both types of feedforward connections. These distinct forms of ensemble plasticity change the way Purkinje neurons subsequently respond to inputs. Such concerted changes in the circuitry of cerebellar cortex may contribute to certain forms of sensorimotor learning.
Project description:Although feedforward inhibition onto Purkinje cells was first documented 40 years ago, we understand little of how inhibitory interneurons contribute to cerebellar function in behaving animals. Using a mouse line (PC-Deltagamma2) in which GABA(A) receptor-mediated synaptic inhibition is selectively removed from Purkinje cells, we examined how feedforward inhibition from molecular layer interneurons regulates adaptation of the vestibulo-ocular reflex. Although impairment of baseline motor performance was relatively mild, the ability to adapt the phase of the vestibulo-ocular reflex and to consolidate gain adaptations was strongly compromised. Purkinje cells showed abnormal patterns of simple spikes, both during and in the absence of evoked compensatory eye movements. On the basis of modeling our experimental data, we propose that feedforward inhibition, by controlling the fine-scale patterns of Purkinje cell activity, enables the induction of plasticity in neurons of the cerebellar and vestibular nuclei.
Project description:Feedforward inhibition is essential to prevent run away excitation within the brain. Recent evidence suggests that a loss of feed-forward inhibition in the corticothalamocortical circuitry may underlie some absence seizures. However, it is unclear if this aberration is specifically linked to loss of synaptic excitation onto local fast-spiking parvalbumin-containing (PV<sup>+</sup>) inhibitory interneurons, which are responsible for mediating feedforward inhibition within cortical networks. We recently reported a global tissue loss of AMPA receptors (AMPARs), and a specific mistrafficking of these AMPARs in PV<sup>+</sup> interneurons in the stargazer somatosensory cortex. The current study was aimed at investigating if cellular changes in AMPAR expression were translated into deficits in receptors at specific synapses in the feedforward inhibitory microcircuit. Using western blot immunolabeling on biochemically isolated synaptic fractions, we demonstrate a loss of AMPAR GluA1-4 subunits in the somatosensory cortex of stargazers compared to non-epileptic control mice. Furthermore, using double post-embedding immunogold-cytochemistry, we show a loss of GluA1-4-AMPARs at excitatory synapses onto cortical PV<sup>+</sup> interneurons. Altogether, these data indicate a loss of synaptic AMPAR-mediated excitation of cortical PV<sup>+</sup> inhibitory neurons. As the cortex is considered the site of initiation of spike wave discharges (SWDs) within the corticothalamocortical circuitry, loss of AMPARs at cortical PV<sup>+</sup> interneurons likely impairs feed-forward inhibitory output, and contributes to the generation of SWDs and absence seizures in stargazers.
Project description:In the neocortex, synaptic inhibition shapes all forms of spontaneous and sensory evoked activity. Importantly, inhibitory transmission is highly plastic, but the functional role of inhibitory synaptic plasticity is unknown. In the mouse barrel cortex, activation of layer (L) 2/3 pyramidal neurons (PNs) elicits strong feedforward inhibition (FFI) onto L5 PNs. We find that FFI involving parvalbumin (PV)-expressing cells is strongly potentiated by postsynaptic PN burst firing. FFI plasticity modifies the PN excitation-to-inhibition (E/I) ratio, strongly modulates PN gain, and alters information transfer across cortical layers. Moreover, our LTPi-inducing protocol modifies firing of L5 PNs and alters the temporal association of PN spikes to ?-oscillations both in vitro and in vivo. All of these effects are captured by unbalancing the E/I ratio in a feedforward inhibition circuit model. Altogether, our results indicate that activity-dependent modulation of perisomatic inhibitory strength effectively influences the participation of single principal cortical neurons to cognition-relevant network activity.
Project description:Information processing in the CNS is controlled by the activity of neuronal networks composed of principal neurons and interneurons. Activity-dependent modification of synaptic transmission onto principal neurons is well studied, but little is known about the modulation of inhibitory transmission between interneurons. However, synaptic plasticity at this level has clear implications for the generation of synchronized activity. We investigated the molecular mechanism(s) and functional consequences of an activity-induced lasting increase in GABA release that occurs between inhibitory interneurons (stellate cells) in the cerebellum. Using whole-cell recording and cerebellar slices, we found that stimulation of glutamatergic inputs (parallel fibers) with a physiological-like pattern of activity triggered a lasting increase in GABA release from stellate cells. This activity also potentiated inhibitory transmission between synaptically connected interneurons. Extracellular recording revealed that the enhanced inhibitory transmission reduced the firing frequency and altered the pattern of action potential activity in stellate cells. The induction of the sustained increase in GABA release required activation of NMDA receptors. Using pharmacological and genetic approaches, we found that presynaptic cAMP/PKA (protein kinase A) signaling and RIM1alpha, an active zone protein, is the critical pathway that is required for the lasting enhancement of GABA release. Thus, a common mechanism can underlie presynaptic plasticity of both excitatory and inhibitory transmission. This activity-dependent regulation of synaptic transmission between inhibitory interneurons may serve as an important mechanism for interneuronal network plasticity.
Project description:Feedforward excitatory and inhibitory circuits regulate cerebellar output, but how these circuits interact to shape the somatodendritic excitability of Purkinje cells during motor behaviour remains unresolved. Here we perform dendritic and somatic patch-clamp recordings in vivo combined with optogenetic silencing of interneurons to investigate how dendritic excitation and inhibition generates bidirectional (that is, increased or decreased) Purkinje cell output during self-paced locomotion. We find that granule cells generate a sustained depolarization of Purkinje cell dendrites during movement, which is counterbalanced by variable levels of feedforward inhibition from local interneurons. Subtle differences in the dendritic excitation-inhibition balance generate robust, bidirectional changes in simple spike (SSp) output. Disrupting this balance by selectively silencing molecular layer interneurons results in unidirectional firing rate changes, increased SSp regularity and disrupted locomotor behaviour. Our findings provide a mechanistic understanding of how feedforward excitatory and inhibitory circuits shape Purkinje cell output during motor behaviour.
Project description:The perirhinal (PER) and lateral entorhinal (LEC) cortex form an anatomical link between the neocortex and the hippocampus. However, neocortical activity is transmitted through the PER and LEC to the hippocampus with a low probability, suggesting the involvement of the inhibitory network. This study explored the role of interneuron mediated inhibition, activated by electrical stimulation in the agranular insular cortex (AiP), in the deep layers of the PER and LEC. Activated synaptic input by AiP stimulation rarely evoked action potentials in the PER-LEC deep layer excitatory principal neurons, most probably because the evoked synaptic response consisted of a small excitatory and large inhibitory conductance. Furthermore, parvalbumin positive (PV) interneurons-a subset of interneurons projecting onto the axo-somatic region of principal neurons-received synaptic input earlier than principal neurons, suggesting recruitment of feedforward inhibition. This synaptic input in PV interneurons evoked varying trains of action potentials, explaining the fast rising, long lasting synaptic inhibition received by deep layer principal neurons. Altogether, the excitatory input from the AiP onto deep layer principal neurons is overruled by strong feedforward inhibition. PV interneurons, with their fast, extensive stimulus-evoked firing, are able to deliver this fast evoked inhibition in principal neurons. This indicates an essential role for PV interneurons in the gating mechanism of the PER-LEC network.
Project description:Neurons of the cerebellar nuclei receive synaptic excitation from cerebellar mossy fibers. Unlike in many principal neurons, coincident presynaptic activity and postsynaptic depolarization do not generate long-term potentiation at these synapses. Instead, EPSCs are potentiated by high-frequency trains of presynaptic activity applied with postsynaptic hyperpolarization, in patterns resembling mossy-fiber-mediated excitation and Purkinje-cell-mediated inhibition that are predicted to occur during delay eyelid conditioning. Here, we have used electrophysiology and Ca imaging to test how synaptic excitation and inhibition interact to generate long-lasting synaptic plasticity in nuclear cells in cerebellar slices. We find that the extent of plasticity varies with the relative timing of synaptic excitation and hyperpolarization. Potentiation is most effective when synaptic stimuli precede the postinhibitory rebound by approximately 400 ms, whereas with longer intervals, or with a reverse sequence, EPSCs tend to depress. When basal intracellular Ca is raised by spontaneous firing or reduced by voltage clamping at subthreshold potentials, potentiation is induced as long as the synaptic-rebound temporal sequence is maintained, suggesting that plasticity does not require Ca levels to exceed a threshold or attain a specific concentration. Although rebound and spike-dependent Ca influx are global, potentiation is synapse specific, and is disrupted by inhibitors of calcineurin or Ca-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, but not PKC. When IPSPs replace the hyperpolarizing step in the induction protocol, potentiation proceeds normally. These results lead us to propose that synaptic and inhibitory/rebound stimuli initiate separate processes, with local NMDA receptor-mediated Ca influx "priming" synapses, and Ca changes from the inhibition and rebound "triggering" potentiation at recently activated synapses.
Project description:Stimulus processing in fear conditioning is constrained by parvalbumin interneurons (PV-INs) through inhibition of principal excitatory neurons. However, the contributions of PV-IN microcircuits to input gating and long-term plasticity in the fear system remain unknown. Here we interrogate synaptic connections between afferent pathways, PV-INs, and principal excitatory neurons in the basolateral amygdala. We find that subnuclei of this region are populated two functionally distinct PV-IN networks. PV-INs in the lateral (LA), but not the basal (BA), amygdala possess complex dendritic arborizations, receive potent excitatory drive, and mediate feedforward inhibition onto principal neurons. After fear conditioning, PV-INs exhibit nucleus- and target-selective plasticity, resulting in persistent reduction of their excitatory input and inhibitory output in LA but not BA. These data reveal previously overlooked specializations of amygdala PV-INs and indicate specific circuit mechanisms for inhibitory plasticity during the encoding of associative fear memories.
Project description:The dynamic interactions between hippocampus and amygdala are critical for emotional memory. Theta synchrony between these structures occurs during fear memory retrieval and may facilitate synaptic plasticity, but the cellular mechanisms are unknown. We report that interneurons of the mouse basal amygdala are activated during theta network activity or optogenetic stimulation of ventral CA1 pyramidal cell axons, whereas principal neurons are inhibited. Interneurons provide feedforward inhibition that transiently hyperpolarizes principal neurons. However, synaptic inhibition attenuates during theta frequency stimulation of ventral CA1 fibers, and this broadens excitatory postsynaptic potentials. These effects are mediated by GABAB receptors and change in the Cl(-) driving force. Pairing theta frequency stimulation of ventral CA1 fibers with coincident stimuli of the lateral amygdala induces long-term potentiation of lateral-basal amygdala excitatory synapses. Hence, feedforward inhibition, known to enforce temporal fidelity of excitatory inputs, dominates hippocampus-amygdala interactions to gate heterosynaptic plasticity. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
Project description:The precise connectivity of somatostatin and parvalbumin cortical interneurons is generated during development. An understanding of how these interneuron classes incorporate into cortical circuitry is incomplete but essential to elucidate the roles they play during maturation. Here, we report that somatostatin interneurons in infragranular layers receive dense but transient innervation from thalamocortical afferents during the first postnatal week. During this period, parvalbumin interneurons and pyramidal neurons within the same layers receive weaker thalamocortical inputs, yet are strongly innervated by somatostatin interneurons. Further, upon disruption of the early (but not late) somatostatin interneuron network, the synaptic maturation of thalamocortical inputs onto parvalbumin interneurons is perturbed. These results suggest that infragranular somatostatin interneurons exhibit a transient early synaptic connectivity that is essential for the establishment of thalamic feedforward inhibition mediated by parvalbumin interneurons.