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Cereb Cortex. 2014 Jan;24(1):98-109. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhs291. Epub 2012 Oct 4.

Postnatal development of 2 microcircuits involving fast-spiking interneurons in the mouse prefrontal cortex.

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Department of Neurobiology, Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology of Ministry of Health of China, Zhejiang Province Key Laboratory of Neurobiology, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.


Disturbed development of the parvalbumin-positive fast-spiking (FS) interneurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is closely associated with many neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. FS interneurons form at least 2 microcircuits in the PFC: one with pyramidal neurons (FS-PN) through chemical synapses; the other with other FS interneurons (FS-FS) via chemical and electrical synapses. It is currently unknown when and how these circuits are established in the PFC during early development. Here, we used G42 mice, in which FS interneurons are specifically labeled with enhanced green fluorescent protein, to make dual whole-cell recordings from postnatal day 3 (P3) to P30 to study the development of FS interneuronal networks in the PFC. We found that FS interneurons were poorly developed in terms of the membrane and network properties during the first postnatal week, both of which exhibited an abrupt maturation during the second postnatal week. The development of FS interneuronal microcircuits lasted throughout early adulthood. Thus, our data suggest that FS interneurons might not be involved in generating cortical oscillatory activity and γ oscillations during the first postnatal week. Our data also indicate an independent development of electrical and chemical synapses among FS interneuronal networks during the early period.


electrical synapses; networks; paired recording; parvalbumin; synaptogenesis

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