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Nat Neurosci. 2000 Apr;3(4):366-71.

Proximally targeted GABAergic synapses and gap junctions synchronize cortical interneurons.

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Department of Comparative Physiology, University of Szeged, Középfasor 52, Szeged H-6726, Hungary.


Networks of GABAergic interneurons are implicated in synchronizing cortical activity at gamma frequencies (30-70 Hz). Here we demonstrate that the combined electrical and GABAergic synaptic coupling of basket cells instantaneously entrained gamma-frequency postsynaptic firing in layers 2/3 of rat somatosensory cortex. This entrainment was mediated by rapid curtailment of gap junctional coupling potentials by GABAA receptor-mediated IPSPs. Electron microscopy revealed spatial proximity of gap junctions and GABAergic synapses on somata and dendrites. Electrical coupling alone entrained postsynaptic firing with a phase lag, whereas unitary GABAergic connections were ineffective in gamma-frequency phasing. These observations demonstrate precise spatiotemporal mechanisms underlying action potential timing in oscillating interneuronal networks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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