DOI: 10.1101/475061Nov 23, 2018Paper

Neuromodulation leads to a burst-tonic switch in a subset of VIP neurons in mouse primary somatosensory (barrel) cortex

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Alvar ProennekeJochen F Staiger


Neocortical GABAergic interneurons expressing vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) contribute to sensory processing, sensorimotor integration and behavioral control. In contrast to other major subpopulations of GABAergic interneurons, VIP neurons show a remarkable diversity. Studying morphological and electrophysiological properties of VIP cells, we found a peculiar group of neurons in layer II/III of mouse primary somatosensory (barrel) cortex, which showed a highly dynamic burst firing behavior at resting membrane potential that switched to tonic mode at depolarized membrane potentials. Furthermore, we demonstrate that burst firing depends on T-type calcium channels. The burst-tonic switch could be induced by acetylcholine and serotonin. Acetylcholine mediated a depolarization via nicotinic receptors whereas serotonin evoked a biphasic depolarization via ionotropic and metabotropic receptors in 48% of the population and a purely monophasic depolarization via metabotropic receptors in the remaining cells. These data disclose an electrophysiologically-defined subpopulation of VIP neurons that via neuromodulator-induced changes in firing behavior is likely to regulate the state of cortical circuits in a profound manner.

Related Concepts

Calcium Channel
Cerebral Cortex
Nicotinic Receptors
Immunoglobulin Class Switching
Sensorimotor Integration

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