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J Comp Neurol. 1987 Aug 1;262(1):1-12.

Synaptic organization of GABAergic neurons in the mouse SmI cortex.


Immunocytochemical methods were used to examine GABAergic neurons in the barrel region of the mouse primary somatosensory cortex. GABAergic neurons occur in all layers of the barrel cortex but are more concentrated in the upper portion of layers II/III and in layers IV and VI. Nine cells in layer IV were examined with the electron microscope, and portions of their dendrites were reconstructed from serial thin sections. These cells are of the nonspiny, multipolar or bitufted varieties, and some of them have beaded dendrites. The labeled cell bodies and their reconstructed dendrites were postsynaptic at asymmetrical synapses with thalamocortical axon terminals labeled by lesion-induced degeneration and with unlabeled axon terminals. Each cell also received symmetrical synapses from GABAergic axon terminals and from unlabeled axon terminals. Our results indicate that GABAergic cell bodies and processes receive synapses from thalamocortical axon terminals but that different cells display marked differences in the proportion of thalamocortical and other synapses they receive. These results indicate that GABAergic cells form a heterogeneous population with respect to their morphologies and patterns of synaptic inputs. The synaptic sequences revealed here for GABAergic neurons represent an anatomical substrate for various inhibitory processes known to occur within the cerebral cortex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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