Oct 31, 2009

Depolarizing effect of neocortical chandelier neurons

Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Alan R WoodruffRafael Yuste

Abstract

Chandelier (or axo-axonic) cells are one of the most distinctive types of GABAergic interneurons in the cortex. Although they have traditionally been considered inhibitory neurons, data from rat and human neocortical preparations suggest that chandelier cells have a depolarizing effect on pyramidal neurons at resting membrane potential, and could even activate synaptic chains of neurons. At the same time, recent results from rat hippocampal chandeliers indicate a predominantly inhibitory effect on their postsynaptic targets. To better understand the function of chandelier neurons, we generated Nkx2.1Cre MADM mice, a strain of genetically engineered animals that, by expressing GFP in a subset of neocortical interneurons, enable the identification and targeting of chandelier cells in living brain slices. Using these mice, we characterized the basic electrophysiological properties of a homogeneous population of chandelier neurons from upper layers of somatosensory cortical slices. These chandelier cells have characteristic axon cartridges and stereotypical electrophysiological features, distinguishable from basket cells. To investigate the effect of chandelier cells on target neurons, we performed paired recordings from chandelier...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Cortex Bone Disorders
Adrenal Cortex Diseases
Resting Potentials
Neurons
Structure of Cortex of Kidney
Axon
Interneurons
ADAM10 gene
Pyramidal Cells
NRBP1 gene

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