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Trends Neurosci. 2004 Nov;27(11):670-5.

Interneurons and triadic circuitry of the thalamus.

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Department of Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Physiology, The University of Chicago, Chicago IL 60637, USA.


The thalamus is strategically placed to control the flow of information to cortex and thus conscious perception. A key player in this control is a local GABAergic interneuron that inhibits relay cells. This interneuron is especially interesting because, in addition to a conventional axonal output, most of its output is via distal dendrites. The latter seem to be electrotonically and thus functionally isolated from the soma and axon, and they enter into complex synaptic arrangements. It is proposed that, because of special synaptic properties of its dendritic outputs, this local GABAergic interneuron of the thalamus provides gain control for the relay cell and thereby keeps relay of information to cortex within a fairly linear regime.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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