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Nat Neurosci. 2006 Jun;9(6):807-15. Epub 2006 Apr 30.

Distinct timing in the activity of cannabinoid-sensitive and cannabinoid-insensitive basket cells.

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  • 1Neuroscience Graduate Program and Neurobiology Section, Division of Biology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.


Cannabinoids are powerful modulators of inhibition, yet the precise spike timing of cannabinoid receptor (CB1R)-expressing inhibitory neurons in relation to other neurons in the circuit is poorly understood. Here we found that the spike timing of CB1R-expressing basket cells, a major target for cannabinoids in the rat hippocampus, was distinct from the other main group of basket cells, the CB1R-negative. Despite receiving the same afferent inputs, the synaptic and biophysical properties of the two cell types were tuned to detect different features of activity. CB1R-negative basket cells responded reliably and immediately to subtle and repetitive excitation. In contrast, CB1R-positive basket cells responded later and did not follow repetitive activity, but were better suited to integrate the consecutive excitation of independent afferents. This temporal separation in the activity of the two basket cell types generated distinct epochs of somatic inhibition that were differentially affected by endocannabinoids.

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