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Eur J Neurosci. 2017 Feb;45(4):548-558. doi: 10.1111/ejn.13498. Epub 2017 Jan 21.

Different output properties of perisomatic region-targeting interneurons in the basal amygdala.

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'Lendület' Laboratory of Network Neurophysiology, Institute of Experimental Medicine, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, H-1450, Hungary.
János Szentágothai School of Neurosciences, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.


The perisomatic region of principal neurons in cortical regions is innervated by three types of GABAergic interneuron, including parvalbumin-containing basket cells (PVBCs) and axo-axonic cells (AACs), as well as cholecystokinin and type 1 cannabinoid receptor-expressing basket cells (CCK/CB1BCs). These perisomatic inhibitory cell types can also be found in the basal nucleus of the amygdala, however, their output properties are largely unknown. Here, we performed whole-cell recordings in morphologically identified interneurons in slices prepared from transgenic mice, in which the GABAergic cells could be selectively targeted. Investigating the passive and active membrane properties of interneurons located within the basal amygdala revealed that the three interneuron types have distinct single-cell properties. For instance, the input resistance, spike rate, accommodation in discharge rate, or after-hyperpolarization width at the half maximal amplitude separated the three interneuron types. Furthermore, we performed paired recordings from interneurons and principal neurons to uncover the basic features of unitary inhibitory postsynaptic currents (uIPSCs). Although we found no difference in the magnitude of responses measured in the principal neurons, the uIPSCs originating from the distinct interneuron types differed in rise time, failure rate, latency, and short-term dynamics. Moreover, the asynchronous transmitter release induced by a train of action potentials was typical for the output synapses of CCK/CB1BCs. Our results suggest that, despite the similar uIPSC magnitudes originating from the three perisomatic inhibitory cell types, their distinct release properties together with the marked differences in their spiking characteristics may contribute to accomplish specific functions in amygdala network operation.


GABAergic circuits; firing property; inhibition; mouse; synaptic transmission

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