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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Dec 20;102(51):18638-43. Epub 2005 Dec 8.

Inhibitory coupling specifically generates emergent gamma oscillations in diverse cell types.

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Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Networks of inhibitory neurons regulate synchrony during many physiological and pathological oscillations. To explore how these effects depend on cellular, network, and synaptic factors, we developed and validated a semisynthetic inhibitory network that approximates simultaneous activity in multiple neurons by using consecutive responses from single cells. We recorded from three types of neurons, each of which forms interconnected networks in vivo, but has unique intrinsic properties. In all three cell types, fast inhibitory coupling generated emergent gamma oscillations. By contrast, inhibitory coupling desynchronized slower, spindle-frequency responses specifically in thalamic reticular neurons. The emergent gamma-frequency synchronization was also specific to tonic input and did not occur during responses to phasic inputs. These results illustrate how particular features of inhibitory networks (e.g., cell or input type) contribute to their synchronizing or desynchronizing functions. They also demonstrate phenomena (emergent gamma oscillations) that occur robustly in multiple cell types and may thus be a generic feature of inhibitory networks throughout the brain.

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