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Postsynaptic mechanisms govern the differential excitation of cortical neurons by thalamic inputs.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Hull, C; Isaacson, JS; Scanziani, M
Published in: J Neurosci
July 15, 2009

Thalamocortical (TC) afferents relay sensory input to the cortex by making synapses onto both excitatory regular-spiking principal cells (RS cells) and inhibitory fast-spiking interneurons (FS cells). This divergence plays a crucial role in coordinating excitation with inhibition during the earliest steps of somatosensory processing in the cortex. Although the same TC afferents contact both FS and RS cells, FS cells receive larger and faster excitatory inputs from individual TC afferents. Here, we show that this larger thalamic excitation of FS cells occurs via GluR2-lacking AMPA receptors (AMPARs), and results from a fourfold larger quantal amplitude compared with the thalamic inputs onto RS cells. Thalamic afferents also activate NMDA receptors (NMDARs) at synapses onto both cells types, yet RS cell NMDAR currents are slower and pass more current at physiological membrane potentials. Because of these synaptic specializations, GluR2-lacking AMPARs selectively maintain feedforward inhibition of RS cells, whereas NMDARs contribute to the spiking of RS cells and hence to cortical recurrent excitation. Thus, thalamic afferent activity diverges into two routes that rely on unique complements of postsynaptic AMPARs and NMDARs to orchestrate the dynamic balance of excitation and inhibition as sensory input enters the cortex.

Duke Scholars

Published In

J Neurosci

DOI

EISSN

1529-2401

Publication Date

July 15, 2009

Volume

29

Issue

28

Start / End Page

9127 / 9136

Location

United States

Related Subject Headings

  • Time Factors
  • Thalamus
  • Synapses
  • Strontium
  • Somatosensory Cortex
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Pyridazines
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Neurons
 

Citation

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ICMJE
MLA
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Hull, C., Isaacson, J. S., & Scanziani, M. (2009). Postsynaptic mechanisms govern the differential excitation of cortical neurons by thalamic inputs. J Neurosci, 29(28), 9127–9136. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5971-08.2009
Hull, Court, Jeffry S. Isaacson, and Massimo Scanziani. “Postsynaptic mechanisms govern the differential excitation of cortical neurons by thalamic inputs.J Neurosci 29, no. 28 (July 15, 2009): 9127–36. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5971-08.2009.
Hull C, Isaacson JS, Scanziani M. Postsynaptic mechanisms govern the differential excitation of cortical neurons by thalamic inputs. J Neurosci. 2009 Jul 15;29(28):9127–36.
Hull, Court, et al. “Postsynaptic mechanisms govern the differential excitation of cortical neurons by thalamic inputs.J Neurosci, vol. 29, no. 28, July 2009, pp. 9127–36. Pubmed, doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5971-08.2009.
Hull C, Isaacson JS, Scanziani M. Postsynaptic mechanisms govern the differential excitation of cortical neurons by thalamic inputs. J Neurosci. 2009 Jul 15;29(28):9127–9136.

Published In

J Neurosci

DOI

EISSN

1529-2401

Publication Date

July 15, 2009

Volume

29

Issue

28

Start / End Page

9127 / 9136

Location

United States

Related Subject Headings

  • Time Factors
  • Thalamus
  • Synapses
  • Strontium
  • Somatosensory Cortex
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Pyridazines
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Neurons