Plasticity in Single Axon Glutamatergic Connection to GABAergic Interneurons Regulates Complex Events in the Human Neocortex.
ABSTRACT: In the human neocortex, single excitatory pyramidal cells can elicit very large glutamatergic EPSPs (VLEs) in inhibitory GABAergic interneurons capable of triggering their firing with short (3-5 ms) delay. Similar strong excitatory connections between two individual neurons have not been found in nonhuman cortices, suggesting that these synapses are specific to human interneurons. The VLEs are crucial for generating neocortical complex events, observed as single pyramidal cell spike-evoked discharge of cell assemblies in the frontal and temporal cortices. However, long-term plasticity of the VLE connections and how the plasticity modulates neocortical complex events has not been studied. Using triple and dual whole-cell recordings from synaptically connected human neocortical layers 2-3 neurons, we show that VLEs in fast-spiking GABAergic interneurons exhibit robust activity-induced long-term depression (LTD). The LTD by single pyramidal cell 40 Hz spike bursts is specific to connections with VLEs, requires group I metabotropic glutamate receptors, and has a presynaptic mechanism. The LTD of VLE connections alters suprathreshold activation of interneurons in the complex events suppressing the discharge of fast-spiking GABAergic cells. The VLEs triggering the complex events may contribute to cognitive processes in the human neocortex, and their long-term plasticity can alter the discharging cortical cell assemblies by learning.
Project description:Different GABAergic interneuron types have specific roles in hippocampal function, and anatomical as well as physiological features vary greatly between interneuron classes. Long-term plasticity of interneurons has mostly been studied in unidentified GABAergic cells and is known to be very heterogeneous. Here we tested whether cell type-specific plasticity properties in distinct GABAergic interneuron types might underlie this heterogeneity. We show that long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD), two common forms of synaptic plasticity, are expressed in a highly cell type-specific manner at glutamatergic synapses onto hippocampal GABAergic neurons. Both LTP and LTD are generated in interneurons expressing parvalbumin (PV+), whereas interneurons with similar axon distributions but expressing cannabinoid receptor-1 show no lasting plasticity in response to the same protocol. In addition, LTP or LTD occurs in PV+ interneurons with different efferent target domains. Perisomatic-targeting PV+ basket and axo-axonic interneurons express LTP, whereas glutamatergic synapses onto PV+ bistratified cells display LTD. Both LTP and LTD are pathway specific, independent of NMDA receptors, and occur at synapses with calcium-permeable (CP) AMPA receptors. Plasticity in interneurons with CP-AMPA receptors strongly modulates disynaptic GABAergic transmission onto CA1 pyramidal cells. We propose that long-term plasticity adjusts the synaptic strength between pyramidal cells and interneurons in a cell type-specific manner and, in the defined CA1 interneurons, shifts the spatial pattern of inhibitory weight from pyramidal cell dendrites to the perisomatic region.
Project description:GABAergic activity is important in neocortical development and plasticity. Because the maturation of GABAergic interneurons is regulated by neural activity, the source of excitatory inputs to GABAergic interneurons plays a key role in development. We show, by laser-scanning photostimulation, that layer 4 and layer 5 GABAergic interneurons in the auditory cortex in neonatal mice (<P7) receive extensive translaminar glutamatergic input via NMDAR-only synapses. Extensive translaminar AMPAR-mediated input developed during the second postnatal week, whereas NMDAR-only presynaptic connections decreased. GABAergic interneurons showed two spatial patterns of translaminar connection: inputs originating predominantly from supragranular or from supragranular and infragranular layers, including the subplate, which relays early thalamocortical activity. Sensory deprivation altered the development of translaminar inputs. Thus, distinct translaminar circuits to GABAergic interneurons exist throughout development, and the maturation of excitatory synapses is input-specific. Glutamatergic signaling from subplate and intracortical sources likely plays a role in the maturation of GABAergic interneurons.
Project description:GABAergic interneurons play key roles in cortical circuits, yet little is known about their early connectivity. Here we use glutamate uncaging and a novel optogenetic strategy to track changes in the afferent and efferent synaptic connections of developing neocortical interneuron subtypes. We find that Nkx2-1-derived interneurons possess functional synaptic connections before emerging pyramidal cell networks. Subsequent interneuron circuit maturation is both subtype and layer dependent. Glutamatergic input onto fast spiking (FS), but not somatostatin-positive, non-FS interneurons increases over development. Interneurons of both subtype located in layers (L) 4 and 5b engage in transient circuits that disappear after the somatosensory critical period. These include a pathway mediated by L5b somatostatin-positive interneurons that specifically targets L4 during the first postnatal week. The innervation patterns of immature cortical interneuron circuits are thus neither static nor progressively strengthened but follow a layer-specific choreography of transient connections that differ from those of the adult brain.
Project description:The coexistence of electrical and chemical synapses among interneurons is essential for interneuron function in the neocortex. However, it remains largely unclear whether electrical coupling between interneurons influences chemical synapse formation and microcircuit assembly during development. Here, we show that electrical and GABAergic chemical connections robustly develop between interneurons in neocortical layer 1 over a similar time course. Electrical coupling promotes action potential generation and synchronous firing between layer 1 interneurons. Furthermore, electrically coupled interneurons exhibit strong GABA-A receptor-mediated synchronous synaptic activity. Disruption of electrical coupling leads to a loss of bidirectional, but not unidirectional, GABAergic connections. Moreover, a reduction in electrical coupling induces an increase in excitatory synaptic inputs to layer 1 interneurons. Together, these findings strongly suggest that electrical coupling between neocortical interneurons plays a critical role in regulating chemical synapse development and precise formation of circuits.
Project description:Neuroligins (NLs) are postsynaptic cell-adhesion proteins that play important roles in synapse formation and the excitatory-inhibitory balance. They have been associated with autism in both human genetic and animal model studies, and affect synaptic connections and synaptic plasticity in several brain regions. Yet current research mainly focuses on pyramidal neurons, while the function of NLs in interneurons remains to be understood. To explore the functional difference among NLs in the subtype-specific synapse formation of both pyramidal neurons and interneurons, we performed viral-mediated shRNA knockdown of NLs in cultured rat cortical neurons and examined the synapses in the two major types of neurons. Our results showed that in both types of neurons, NL1 and NL3 were involved in excitatory synapse formation, and NL2 in GABAergic synapse formation. Interestingly, NL1 affected GABAergic synapse formation more specifically than NL3, and NL2 affected excitatory synapse density preferentially in pyramidal neurons. In summary, our results demonstrated that different NLs play distinct roles in regulating the development and balance of excitatory and inhibitory synapses in pyramidal neurons and interneurons.
Project description:Although neocortical connectivity is remarkably stereotyped, the abundance of some wiring motifs varies greatly between cortical areas. To examine if regional wiring differences represent functional adaptations, we have used optogenetic raster stimulation to map the laminar distribution of GABAergic interneurons providing inhibition to pyramidal cells in layer 2/3 (L2/3) of adult mouse barrel cortex during sensory deprivation and recovery. Whisker trimming caused large, motif-specific changes in inhibitory synaptic connectivity: ascending inhibition from deep layers 4 and 5 was attenuated to 20%-45% of baseline, whereas inhibition from superficial layers remained stable (L2/3) or increased moderately (L1). The principal mechanism of deprivation-induced plasticity was motif-specific changes in inhibitory-to-excitatory connection probabilities; the strengths of extant connections were left unaltered. Whisker regrowth restored the original balance of inhibition from deep and superficial layers. Targeted, reversible modifications of specific inhibitory wiring motifs thus contribute to the adaptive remodeling of cortical circuits.
Project description:The activity-dependent rules that govern the wiring of GABAergic interneurons are not well understood. Chandelier cells (ChCs) are a type of GABAergic interneuron that control pyramidal cell output through axo-axonic synapses that target the axon initial segment. In vivo imaging of ChCs during development uncovered a narrow window (P12-P18) over which axons arborized and formed connections. We found that increases in the activity of either pyramidal cells or individual ChCs during this temporal window result in a reversible decrease in axo-axonic connections. Voltage imaging of GABAergic transmission at the axon initial segment (AIS) showed that axo-axonic synapses were depolarizing during this period. Identical manipulations of network activity in older mice (P40-P46), when ChC synapses are inhibitory, resulted instead in an increase in axo-axonic synapses. We propose that the direction of ChC synaptic plasticity follows homeostatic rules that depend on the polarity of axo-axonic synapses.
Project description:The connectivity diagram of neocortical circuits is still unknown, and there are conflicting data as to whether cortical neurons are wired specifically or not. To investigate the basic structure of cortical microcircuits, we use a two-photon photostimulation technique that enables the systematic mapping of synaptic connections with single-cell resolution. We map the inhibitory connectivity between upper layers somatostatin-positive GABAergic interneurons and pyramidal cells in mouse frontal cortex. Most, and sometimes all, inhibitory neurons are locally connected to every sampled pyramidal cell. This dense inhibitory connectivity is found at both young and mature developmental ages. Inhibitory innervation of neighboring pyramidal cells is similar, regardless of whether they are connected among themselves or not. We conclude that local inhibitory connectivity is promiscuous, does not form subnetworks, and can approach the theoretical limit of a completely connected synaptic matrix.
Project description:The contribution of structural remodeling to long-term adult brain plasticity is unclear. Here, we investigate features of GABAergic interneuron dendrite dynamics and extract clues regarding its potential role in cortical function and circuit plasticity. We show that remodeling interneurons are contained within a "dynamic zone" corresponding to a superficial strip of layers 2/3, and remodeling dendrites respect the lower border of this zone. Remodeling occurs primarily at the periphery of dendritic fields with addition and retraction of new branch tips. We further show that dendrite remodeling is not intrinsic to a specific interneuron class. These data suggest that interneuron remodeling is not a feature predetermined by genetic lineage, but rather, it is imposed by cortical laminar circuitry. Our findings are consistent with dynamic GABAergic modulation of feedforward and recurrent connections in response to top-down feedback and suggest a structural component to functional plasticity of supragranular neocortical laminae.
Project description:In vitro work revealed that excitatory synaptic inputs to hippocampal inhibitory interneurons could undergo Hebbian, associative, or non-associative plasticity. Both behavioral and learning-dependent reorganization of these connections has also been demonstrated by measuring spike transmission probabilities in pyramidal cell-interneuron spike cross-correlations that indicate monosynaptic connections. Here we investigated the activity-dependent modification of these connections during exploratory behavior in rats by optogenetically inhibiting pyramidal cell and interneuron subpopulations. Light application and associated firing alteration of pyramidal and interneuron populations led to lasting changes in pyramidal-interneuron connection weights as indicated by spike transmission changes. Spike transmission alterations were predicted by the light-mediated changes in the number of pre- and postsynaptic spike pairing events and by firing rate changes of interneurons but not pyramidal cells. This work demonstrates the presence of activity-dependent associative and non-associative reorganization of pyramidal-interneuron connections triggered by the optogenetic modification of the firing rate and spike synchrony of cells.