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J Neurosci. 2007 Aug 1;27(31):8219-25.

Differential synaptic integration of interneurons in the outer and inner molecular layers of the developing dentate gyrus.

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Center for Neuroscience Research, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC 20010, USA.


The dentate gyrus (DG) undergoes continued reorganization and lamination during early postnatal development. Interneurons with anatomically identified synaptic contacts migrate from the outer to the inner regions of the molecular layer (ML) of the DG. By using the 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNP)-enhanced green fluorescent protein transgenic mouse, we were able to target and physiologically characterize Dlx2(+) developing ML interneurons. We investigated whether synapses on migrating ML interneurons were functional and defined properties of synaptic inputs onto interneurons that were located in the outer ML (OML) or inner ML (IML). Consistent with ongoing maturation, IML interneurons displayed lower input resistances and more hyperpolarized resting membrane potentials than OML interneurons. Both OML and IML interneurons received a direct excitatory monosynaptic input from the entorhinal cortex via the perforant paths, but this input was differentially sensitive to activation of presynaptic group II and III metabotropic glutamate receptors. Furthermore, only IML interneurons also received significant synaptic input from the CA3/hilar region, especially under conditions of experimentally induced disinhibition. These changes are attributed to a significant reorganization of dendritic fields. GABA(A) receptor-mediated innervation of OML and IML interneurons also displayed significant differences in miniature IPSC amplitude, frequency, and decay kinetics. Finally, cell-attached recordings indicated that GABA(A) receptor activation was depolarizing in OML interneurons but predominantly shunting in IML interneurons. Our data provide evidence that developing ML interneurons receive functional glutamatergic and GABAergic inputs and undergo significant changes in synaptic integration during migration from the OML to the IML.

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