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Nat Commun. 2018 Nov 20;9(1):4890. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07317-4.

Autapses enhance bursting and coincidence detection in neocortical pyramidal cells.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning & IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekou Wai Street, Beijing, 100875, China.
2
Institute of Neuroscience and State Key Laboratory of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 320 Yueyang Road, Shanghai, 200031, China.
3
Institute of Neuroscience and the Second Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, 501260, China.
4
Department of Neurology, Epilepsy Center, Sanbo Brain Hospital, Capital Medical University, Xiangshan Yikesong 50, Beijing, 100093, China.
5
Department of Neurosurgery, Epilepsy Center, Sanbo Brain Hospital, Capital Medical University, Xiangshan Yikesong 50, Beijing, 100093, China.
6
State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning & IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekou Wai Street, Beijing, 100875, China. yousheng@bnu.edu.cn.

Abstract

Autapses are synaptic contacts of a neuron's axon onto its own dendrite and soma. In the neocortex, self-inhibiting autapses in GABAergic interneurons are abundant in number and play critical roles in regulating spike precision and network activity. Here we examine whether the principal glutamatergic pyramidal cells (PCs) also form functional autapses. In patch-clamp recording from both rodent and human PCs, we isolated autaptic responses and found that these occur predominantly in layer-5 PCs projecting to subcortical regions, with very few in those projecting to contralateral prefrontal cortex and layer 2/3 PCs. Moreover, PC autapses persist during development into adulthood. Surprisingly, they produce giant postsynaptic responses (∼5 fold greater than recurrent PC-PC synapses) that are exclusively mediated by AMPA receptors. Upon activation, autapses enhance burst firing, neuronal responsiveness and coincidence detection of synaptic inputs. These findings indicate that PC autapses are functional and represent an important circuit element in the neocortex.

PMID:
30459347
PMCID:
PMC6244208
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-07317-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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