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Nature. 1995 Feb 16;373(6515):612-5.

Synchronized oscillations in interneuron networks driven by metabotropic glutamate receptor activation.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, St Mary's Hospital Medical School, Imperial College, London, UK.


Partially synchronous 40-Hz oscillations of cortical neurons have been implicated in cognitive function. Specifically, coherence of these oscillations between different parts of the cortex may provide conjunctive properties to solve the 'binding problem': associating features detected by the cortex into unified perceived objects. Here we report an emergent 40-Hz oscillation in networks of inhibitory neurons connected by synapses using GABAA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors in slices of rat hippocampus and neocortex. These network inhibitory postsynaptic potential oscillations occur in response to the activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors. The oscillations can entrain pyramidal cell discharges. The oscillation frequency is determined both by the net excitation of interneurons and by the kinetics of the inhibitory postsynaptic potentials between them. We propose that interneuron network oscillations, in conjunction with intrinsic membrane resonances and long-loop (such as thalamocortical) interactions, contribute to 40-Hz rhythms in vivo.

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