Send to

Choose Destination
Cereb Cortex. 2019 Nov 20. pii: bhz251. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhz251. [Epub ahead of print]

Key Aspects of Neurovascular Control Mediated by Specific Populations of Inhibitory Cortical Interneurons.

Author information

Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 2LT, UK.


Inhibitory interneurons can evoke vasodilation and vasoconstriction, making them potential cellular drivers of neurovascular coupling. However, the specific regulatory roles played by particular interneuron subpopulations remain unclear. Our purpose was therefore to adopt a cell-specific optogenetic approach to investigate how somatostatin (SST) and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS)-expressing interneurons might influence the neurovascular relationship. In mice, specific activation of SST- or nNOS-interneurons was sufficient to evoke hemodynamic changes. In the case of nNOS-interneurons, robust hemodynamic changes occurred with minimal changes in neural activity, suggesting that the ability of blood oxygen level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD fMRI) to reliably reflect changes in neuronal activity may be dependent on type of neuron recruited. Conversely, activation of SST-interneurons produced robust changes in evoked neural activity with shallow cortical excitation and pronounced deep layer cortical inhibition. Prolonged activation of SST-interneurons often resulted in an increase in blood volume in the centrally activated area with an accompanying decrease in blood volume in the surrounding brain regions, analogous to the negative BOLD signal. These results demonstrate the role of specific populations of cortical interneurons in the active control of neurovascular function.


BOLD fMRI; neurovascular coupling; nitric oxide synthase; optogenetics; somatostatin


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center