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Inhibitory control of neostriatal projection neurons by GABAergic interneurons

Abstract

The basal ganglia are a highly interconnected network of nuclei essential for the modulation and execution of voluntary behavior. The neostriatum is the principal input and one of the principal controllers of the output of the basal ganglia. Neostriatal projection neurons seem to be dynamically and powerfully controlled by GABAergic inputs, but the source(s) and physiological properties of these inputs remain unclear. Here we use paired whole-cell recordings to show that this inhibition derives from small populations of GABAergic interneurons that are themselves interconnected through functional electrotonic synapses. Inhibitory synaptic potentials generated from single interneurons are sufficiently powerful to delay or entirely block the generation of action potentials in a large number of projection neurons simultaneously.

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Figure 1: Characterization of the membrane properties of recorded neurons.
Figure 2: Camera lucida reconstruction of spiny projection and FS neurons.
Figure 3: Electrical coupling between two FS interneurons.
Figure 4: Properties of IPSPs elicited in spiny projection cells by FS and LTS interneurons.
Figure 5: Interneuronal modulation of action potential generation in spiny projection neurons.

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Acknowledgements

We thank K. Moore and K. Pang for help during the early phase of this experiments, J.P. Bolam, A. Sík and L. Záborszky for advice concerning anatomical methods, G. Buzsáki, A. Czurkó, A. Göndöcs, C. Paladini and D. Shohamy for critically reviewing the manuscript and F. Shah for technical assistance. Supported by MH58885, NS34865 and Rutgers University Busch-BRSG funds.

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Correspondence to James M. Tepper.

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Koós, T., Tepper, J. Inhibitory control of neostriatal projection neurons by GABAergic interneurons . Nat Neurosci 2, 467–472 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1038/8138

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