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J Neurosci. 2004 Sep 8;24(36):7916-22.

Comparison of IPSCs evoked by spiny and fast-spiking neurons in the neostriatum.

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  • 1Section of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA.


Most neurons in the neostriatum are GABAergic spiny projection neurons with extensive local axon collaterals innervating principally other spiny projection neurons. The other source of GABAergic inputs to spiny neurons derives from a small number of interneurons, of which the best characterized are the parvalbumin-containing, fast-spiking interneurons. Spiny neuron collateral inhibition was not demonstrated until recently, because the IPSPs recorded at the soma are surprisingly small. In contrast, interneuronal inhibition was readily detected, comprising much larger IPSPs. Here, we report the application of quantal analysis and compartmental modeling to compare and contrast IPSCs in spiny neurons originating from axon collaterals and interneurons. The results indicate that individual release sites at spiny and interneuron synapses have similar quantal sizes and baseline release probabilities. Interneuronal unitary IPSCs are several times larger because of their proximal location on the neuron and because they have a larger number of transmitter release sites. Despite the small amount of current they can deliver to the soma, spiny cell collateral synapses had moderately high baseline release probabilities (0.5-0.9), suggesting that they are not weak because of some form of depression or modulation. The size of unitary collateral synaptic currents increased monotonically during development. These results argue against models of competitive inhibition in neostriatum, including those in which competitive inhibition is transiently effective during development and learning, and suggest a different role for the spiny cell axon collaterals.

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