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J Neurophysiol. 1991 Oct;66(4):1190-204.

Three types of inhibitory postsynaptic potentials generated by interneurons in the anterior thalamic complex of cat.

Author information

1
Laboratoire de Neurophysiologie, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Quebec, Canada.

Abstract

1. These experiments were carried out to study how thalamic interneurons generate inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) in relay cells. Intracellular recordings were performed in the anterior thalamic (AT) nuclei, a nuclear group in which interneurons constitute the only intrathalamic source of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). 2. In the AT complex, as in most dorsal thalamic nuclei, interneurons can influence relay cells through their presynaptic dendrites (PSDs) and their axons. This dual mode of action is paralleled by a different termination pattern of prethalamic fibers and cortical axons on interneurons. Prethalamic fibers, which in the AT nuclei arise in the mammillary bodies (MBs), end mostly on PSDs, whereas cortical terminals usually synapse on the parent dendrites of PSDs. We therefore took advantage of the differential mode of termination of cortical and MB afferents on interneurons to infer the respective roles of the axons and PSDs of interneurons in the genesis of the IPSPs recorded from relay cells. 3. In all responsive AT cells, cortical stimuli delivered at low frequency (less than or equal to 0.5 Hz) evoked a biphasic IPSP, with an early and a late phase, having a total duration of 221.96 +/- 8.18 ms (mean +/- SE). The early part of the IPSP (termed A) had a reversal potential (ER) close to the equilibrium potential for Cl- ions: -79.25 +/- 2.14 mV. Furthermore, it reversed in polarity after impalement of the cells with KCl-filled pipettes. The late IPSP (termed B) always began before the end of the early IPSP, 45.93 +/- 2.50 ms after the onset of the A-IPSP. The B-IPSP had an ER of -109 +/- 2.4 mV and was not affected by Cl- injection. 4. By contrast, MB stimuli delivered at low frequency (less than or equal to 0.5 Hz) evoked a triphasic IPSP having a total duration of 220.5 +/- 9.42 ms in most (61.2%) AT cells. The IPSP with the shortest latency (termed a) was evoked only by MB stimuli. Before the return of the membrane potential to the resting level, a second hyperpolarizing potential began (7.41 +/- 0.46 ms after the onset of the a-IPSP). This second inhibitory phase was biphasic and had electrophysiological characteristics similar to the biphasic A- and B-IPSP evoked by cortical stimulation. Both the MB-evoked a- and A-IPSPs had an ER close to the equilibrium potential for Cl- ions (-72.22 +/- 0.68 and -72 +/- 0.82 mV, respectively) and reversed in polarity after impalement of the cells with KCl-filled pipettes.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

PMID:
1662261
DOI:
10.1152/jn.1991.66.4.1190
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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