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Exp Brain Res. 1985;58(1):134-43.

Interaction between inhibitory pathways to principal cells in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the cat.


Inhibitory interactions between interneurones of the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the cat were studied with an indirect method based on intracellular recordings of synaptic responses in principal cells. Recurrent inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs), evoked by antidromic activation of principal cell axons in the visual cortex, were depressed by a preceding stimulation of the optic tract or the visual cortex. Disynaptic feed-forward IPSPs, evoked by optic tract stimulation, were likewise depressed after cortex stimulation. The duration of the depression was in both cases about 100 ms. The effect was not due to conductance changes in the recorded principal cells or to activation of cortico-geniculate fibres. The observations indicate that perigeniculate neurones, the recurrent inhibitory interneurones of the LGN, have mutual inhibitory connexions and that they also project to intrageniculate interneurones, the inhibitory cells in the feed-forward pathway to principal cells. These conclusions were supported by intracellular recordings from a few interneurones. No evidence was found for interaction between feed-forward interneurones activated from separate eyes or for a projection from intrageniculate interneurones to perigeniculate cells. The results point to an unexpected similarity in the organization of the recurrent inhibitory system of principal cells in the LGN and of spinal motoneurones. It is suggested that the recurrent system of the LGN serves as a variable gain regulator in analogy with a recently proposed model for the spinal system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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