Control of CA3 output by feedforward inhibition despite developmental changes in the excitation-inhibition balance.
ABSTRACT: In somatosensory cortex, the relative balance of excitation and inhibition determines how effectively feedforward inhibition enforces the temporal fidelity of action potentials. Within the CA3 region of the hippocampus, glutamatergic mossy fiber (MF) synapses onto CA3 pyramidal cells (PCs) provide strong monosynaptic excitation that exhibit prominent facilitation during repetitive activity. We demonstrate in the juvenile CA3 that MF-driven polysynaptic IPSCs facilitate to maintain a fixed EPSC-IPSC ratio during short-term plasticity. In contrast, in young adult mice this MF-driven polysynaptic inhibitory input can facilitate or depress in response to short trains of activity. Transgenic mice lacking the feedback inhibitory loop continue to exhibit both facilitating and depressing polysynaptic IPSCs, indicating that this robust inhibition is not caused by the secondary engagement of feedback inhibition. Surprisingly, eliminating MF-driven inhibition onto CA3 pyramidal cells by blockade of GABA(A) receptors did not lead to a loss of temporal precision of the first action potential observed after a stimulus but triggered in many cases a long excitatory plateau potential capable of triggering repetitive action potential firing. These observations indicate that, unlike other regions of the brain, the temporal precision of single MF-driven action potentials is dictated primarily by the kinetics of MF EPSPs, not feedforward inhibition. Instead, feedforward inhibition provides a robust regulation of CA3 PC excitability across development to prevent excessive depolarization by the monosynaptic EPSP and multiple action potential firings.
Project description:Excitatory and inhibitory neurons are connected into microcircuits that generate circuit output. Central in the hippocampal CA3 microcircuit is the mossy fiber (MF) synapse, which provides powerful direct excitatory input and indirect feedforward inhibition to CA3 pyramidal neurons. Here, we dissect its cell-surface protein (CSP) composition to discover novel regulators of MF synaptic connectivity. Proteomic profiling of isolated MF synaptosomes uncovers a rich CSP composition, including many CSPs without synaptic function and several that are uncharacterized. Cell-surface interactome screening identifies IgSF8 as a neuronal receptor enriched in the MF pathway. Presynaptic Igsf8 deletion impairs MF synaptic architecture and robustly decreases the density of bouton filopodia that provide feedforward inhibition. Consequently, IgSF8 loss impairs excitation/inhibition balance and increases excitability of CA3 pyramidal neurons. Our results provide insight into the CSP landscape and interactome of a specific excitatory synapse and reveal IgSF8 as a critical regulator of CA3 microcircuit connectivity and function.
Project description:Stratum lacunosum-moleculare interneurons (L-Mi) in hippocampal area CA3 target the apical dendrite of pyramidal cells providing feedforward inhibition. Here we report that selective activation of group III metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) 4/8 with L(+)-2-amino-4-phosphnobytyric acid (L-AP4; 10 ?M) decreased the probability of glutamate release from the mossy fiber (MF) terminals synapsing onto L-Mi. Consistent with this interpretation, application of L-AP4 in the presence of 3 mM strontium decreased the frequency of asynchronous MF EPSCs in L-Mi. Furthermore, the dose response curve showed that L-AP4 at 400 ?M produced no further decrease in MF EPSC amplitude compared with 20 ?M L-AP4, indicating the lack of mGluRs 7 at these MF terminals. We also found that one mechanism of mGluRs 4/8-mediated inhibition of release is linked to N-type voltage gated calcium channels at MF terminals. Application of the group III mGluR antagonist MSOP (100 ?M) demonstrated that mGluRs 4/8 are neither tonically active nor activated by low and moderate frequencies of activity. However, trains of stimuli to the MF at 20 and 40 Hz delivered during the application of MSOP revealed a relief of inhibition of transmitter release and an increase in the overall probability of action potential firing in the postsynaptic L-Mi. Interestingly, the time to first action potential was significantly shorter in the presence of MSOP, indicating that mGluR 4/8 activation delays L-Mi firing in response to MF activity. Taken together, our data demonstrate that the timing and probability of action potentials in L-Mi evoked by MF synaptic input is regulated by the activation of presynaptic high affinity group III mGluRs.
Project description:The hippocampus plays a central role in memory formation in the mammalian brain. Its ability to encode information is thought to depend on the plasticity of synaptic connections between neurons. In the pyramidal neurons constituting the primary hippocampal output to the cortex, located in area CA1, firing of presynaptic CA3 pyramidal neurons produces monosynaptic excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) followed rapidly by feedforward (disynaptic) inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs). Long-term potentiation (LTP) of the monosynaptic glutamatergic inputs has become the leading model of synaptic plasticity, in part due to its dependence on NMDA receptors (NMDARs), required for spatial and temporal learning in intact animals. Using whole-cell recording in hippocampal slices from adult rats, we find that the efficacy of synaptic transmission from CA3 to CA1 can be enhanced without the induction of classic LTP at the glutamatergic inputs. Taking care not to directly stimulate inhibitory fibers, we show that the induction of GABAergic plasticity at feedforward inhibitory inputs results in the reduced shunting of excitatory currents, producing a long-term increase in the amplitude of Schaffer collateral-mediated postsynaptic potentials. Like classic LTP, disinhibition-mediated LTP requires NMDAR activation, suggesting a role in types of learning and memory attributed primarily to the former and raising the possibility of a previously unrecognized target for therapeutic intervention in disorders linked to memory deficits, as well as a potentially overlooked site of LTP expression in other areas of the brain.
Project description:Feedforward inhibition (FFI) between the dentate gyrus (DG) and CA3 sparsifies and shapes memory- and spatial navigation-related activities. However, our understanding of this prototypical FFI circuit lacks essential details, as the wiring of FFI is not yet mapped between individual DG granule cells (GCs) and CA3 pyramidal cells (PCs). Importantly, theoretically opposite network contributions are possible depending on whether the directly excited PCs are differently inhibited than the non-excited PCs. Therefore, to better understand FFI wiring schemes, we compared the prevalence of disynaptic inhibitory postsynaptic events (diIPSCs) between pairs of individually recorded GC axons or somas and PCs, some of which were connected by monosynaptic excitation, while others were not. If FFI wiring is specific, diIPSCs are expected only in connected PCs; whereas diIPSCs should not be present in these PCs if FFI is laterally wired from individual GCs. However, we found single GC-elicited diIPSCs with similar probabilities irrespective of the presence of monosynaptic excitation. This observation suggests that the wiring of FFI between individual GCs and PCs is independent of the direct excitation. Therefore, the randomly distributed FFI contributes to the hippocampal signal sparsification by setting the general excitability of the CA3 depending on the overall activity of GCs.
Project description:Hippocampal area CA3 is critically involved in the formation of nonoverlapping neuronal subpopulations ("pattern separation") to store memory representations as distinct events. Efficient pattern separation relies on the strong and sparse excitatory input from the mossy fibers (MFs) to pyramidal cells and feedforward inhibitory interneurons. However, MF synapses on CA3 pyramidal cells undergo long-term potentiation (LTP), which, if unopposed, will degrade pattern separation because MF activation will now recruit additional CA3 pyramidal cells. Here, we demonstrate MF LTP in stratum lacunosum-moleculare (L-M) interneurons induced by the same stimulation protocol that induces MF LTP in pyramidal cells. This LTP was NMDA receptor (NMDAR) independent and occurred at MF Ca(2+)-impermeable AMPA receptor synapses. LTP was prevented by with voltage clamping the postsynaptic cell soma during high-frequency stimulation (HFS), intracellular injections of the Ca(2+) chelator BAPTA (20 mm), or bath applications of the L-type Ca(2+) channel blocker nimodipine (10 microm). We propose that MF LTP in L-M interneurons preserves the sparsity of pyramidal cell activation, thus allowing CA3 to maintain its role in pattern separation. In the presence of the mGluR1alpha antagonist LY367385 [(S)-(+)-a-amino-4-carboxy-2-methylbenzeneacetic acid] (100 microm), the same HFS that induces MF LTP in naive slices triggered NMDAR-independent MF LTD. This LTD, like LTP, required activation of the L-type Ca(2+) channel and also was induced after blockade of IP(3) receptors with heparin (4 mg/ml) or the selective depletion of receptor-gated Ca(2+) stores with ryanodine (10 or 100 microm). We conclude that L-M interneurons are endowed with Ca(2+) signaling cascades suitable for controlling the polarity of MF long-term plasticity induced by joint presynaptic and postsynaptic activities.
Project description:The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) serves executive control functions that are impaired in neuropsychiatric disorders and pain. Therefore, restoring normal synaptic transmission and output is a desirable goal. Group II metabotropic glutamate receptors mGluR2 and mGluR3 are highly expressed in the mPFC, modulate synaptic transmission, and have been targeted for neuropsychiatric disorders. Their pain-related modulatory effects in the mPFC remain to be determined. Here we evaluated their ability to restore pyramidal output in an arthritis pain model. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of layer V mPFC pyramidal cells show that a selective group II mGluR agonist (LY379268) decreased synaptically evoked spiking in brain slices from normal and arthritic rats. Effects were concentration-dependent and reversed by a selective antagonist (LY341495). LY379268 decreased monosynaptic excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) and glutamate-driven inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in the pain model. Effects on EPSCs preceded those on IPSCs and could explain the overall inhibitory effect on pyramidal output. LY379268 decreased frequency, but not amplitude, of miniature EPSCs without affecting miniature IPSCs. LY341495 alone increased synaptically evoked spiking under normal conditions and in the pain model. In conclusion, group II mGluRs act on glutamatergic synapses to inhibit direct excitatory transmission and feedforward inhibition onto pyramidal cells. Their net effect is decreased pyramidal cell output. Facilitatory effects of a group II antagonist suggest the system may be tonically active to control pyramidal output. Failure to release the inhibitory tone and enhance mPFC output could be a mechanism for the development or persistence of a disease state such as pain.
Project description:Thalamic recruitment of feedforward inhibition is known to enhance the fidelity of the receptive field by limiting the temporal window during which cortical neurons integrate excitatory inputs. Feedforward inhibition driven by the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus (MD) has been previously observed, but its physiological function and regulation remain unknown. Accumulating evidence suggests that elevated neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex is required for the short-term storage of information. Furthermore, the elevated neuronal activity is supported by the reciprocal connectivity between the MD and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Therefore, detailed knowledge about the synaptic connections during high-frequency activity is critical for understanding the mechanism of short-term memory. In this study, we examined how feedforward inhibition of thalamofrontal connectivity is modulated by activity frequency. We observed greater short-term synaptic depression during disynaptic inhibition than in thalamic excitatory synapses during high-frequency activities. The strength of feedforward inhibition became weaker as the stimulation continued, which, in turn, enhanced the range of firing jitter in a frequency-dependent manner. We postulated that this phenomenon was primarily due to the increased failure rate of evoking action potentials in parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory neurons. These findings suggest that the MD-mPFC pathway is dynamically regulated by an excitatory-inhibitory balance in an activity-dependent manner. During low-frequency activities, excessive excitations are inhibited, and firing is restricted to a limited temporal range by the strong feedforward inhibition. However, during high-frequency activities, such as during short-term memory, the activity can be transferred in a broader temporal range due to the decreased feedforward inhibition.
Project description:A fundamental property of small neuronal ensembles is their ability to be selectively activated by distinct stimuli. One cellular mechanism by which neurons achieve this input selectivity is by modulating the temporal dynamics of excitation and inhibition. We explored the interplay of excitation and inhibition in synapses between pyramidal neurons of cornu ammonis field 3 of the hippocampal formation (CA3) in cultured rat hippocampal slices, where activation of a single excitatory cell can readily recruit local interneurons. Simultaneous whole-cell recordings from pairs of CA3 pyramidal neurons revealed that the strength of connections was neither uniform nor balanced. Rather, stimulation of presynaptic neurons elicited distinct combinations of excitatory postsynaptic current-inhibitory postsynaptic current (EPSC-IPSC) amplitudes in the postsynaptic neurons. EPSC-IPSC sequences with small EPSCs had large IPSCs and sequences that contained large EPSCs had small IPSCs. In addition to differences in the amplitudes of the responses, the kinetics of the EPSCs were also different, creating distinct temporal dynamics of excitation and inhibition. Weaker EPSCs had significantly slower kinetics and were efficiently occluded by IPSCs, thereby further limiting their contribution to depolarizing the postsynaptic membrane. Our data suggest that hippocampal pyramidal cells may use an imbalance between excitation and inhibition as a filter to enhance selectivity toward preferential excitatory connections.
Project description:Presynaptic kainate receptors (KARs) modulate transmission between dentate granule cells and CA3 pyramidal neurons. Whether presynaptic KARs affect other synapses made by granule cell axons [mossy fibers (MFs)], on hilar mossy cells or interneurons, is not known. Nor is it known whether glutamate release from a single MF is sufficient to activate these receptors. Here, we monitor Ca(2+) in identified MF boutons traced from granule cell bodies. We show that a single action potential in a single MF activates both presynaptic KARs and Ca(2+) stores, contributing to use-dependent facilitation at MF-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses. Rapid local application of kainate to the giant MF bouton has no detectable effect on the resting Ca(2+) but facilitates action-potential-evoked Ca(2+) entry through a Ca(2+) store-dependent mechanism. Localized two-photon uncaging of the Ca(2+) store receptor ligand IP(3) directly confirms the presence of functional Ca(2+) stores at these boutons. In contrast, presynaptic Ca(2+) kinetics at MF synapses on interneurons or mossy cells are insensitive to KAR blockade, to local kainate application or to photolytic release of IP(3). Consistent with this, postsynaptic responses evoked by activation of a single MF show KAR-dependent paired-pulse facilitation in CA3 pyramidal cells, but not in interneurons or mossy cells. Thus, KAR-Ca(2+) store coupling acts as a synapse-specific, short-range autoreceptor mechanism.
Project description:The gate control theory proposes that A? mechanoreceptor inputs to spinal pain transmission T neurons are gated via feedforward inhibition, but it remains unclear how monosynaptic excitation is gated by disynaptic inhibitory inputs that arrive later. Here we report that A?-evoked, non-NMDAR-dependent EPSPs in T neurons are subthreshold, allowing time for inhibitory inputs to prevent action potential firing that requires slow-onset NMDAR activation. Potassium channel activities-including IA, whose sizes are established constitutively by PreprodynorphinCre-derived inhibitory neurons-either completely filter away A? inputs or make them subthreshold, thereby creating a permissive condition to achieve gate control. Capsaicin-activated nociceptor inputs reduce IA and sensitize the T neurons, allowing A? inputs to cause firing before inhibitory inputs arrive. Thus, distinct kinetics of glutamate receptors and electric filtering by potassium channels solve the timing problem underlying the gating by feedforward inhibition, and their modulation offers a way to bypass the gate control.