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Neuron. 2008 Mar 27;57(6):905-16. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.01.030.

State-dependent bidirectional modification of somatic inhibition in neocortical pyramidal cells.

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Department of Neuroscience, Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan.


Cortical pyramidal neurons alter their responses to input signals depending on behavioral state. We investigated whether changes in somatic inhibition contribute to these alterations. In layer 5 pyramidal neurons of rat visual cortex, repetitive firing from a depolarized membrane potential, which typically occurs during arousal, produced long-lasting depression of somatic inhibition. In contrast, slow membrane oscillations with firing in the depolarized phase, which typically occurs during slow-wave sleep, produced long-lasting potentiation. The depression is mediated by L-type Ca2+ channels and GABA(A) receptor endocytosis, whereas potentiation is mediated by R-type Ca2+ channels and receptor exocytosis. It is likely that the direction of modification is mainly dependent on the ratio of R- and L-type Ca2+ channel activation. Furthermore, somatic inhibition was stronger in slices prepared from rats during slow-wave sleep than arousal. This bidirectional modification of somatic inhibition may alter pyramidal neuron responsiveness in accordance with behavioral state.

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