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Prof. Peter Jonas: "GABAergic interneurons: a surprising class of cells in the brain"

Wann 10.12.2008
von 12:15 bis 13:15
Wo FRIAS Seminarraum, Albertstr. 19
Kontakttelefon +49 761 203 97418
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Professor Peter Jonas
External Senior Fellow of the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies


"GABAergic interneurons: a surprising class of cells in the brain"

Parvalbumin-expressing basket cells (BCs) play a key role in the function of neuronal networks. These interneurons mediate rapid perisomatic inhibition and are also involved in the generation of network oscillations in the gamma frequency range. BCs operate as fast signaling devices, showing a fast excitatory input, a fast-spiking action potential phenotype, and a fast inhibitory output on their target cells. In my lecture, I will concentrate on the mechanisms of the fast acti-vation at BC dendrites and the fast inhibitory output at GABAergic synaptic terminals.
We first examined mechanisms of BC activation, using patch-clamp recordings from dendrites up to 300 μm from the soma in hippocampal slices. We also examined the inhibitory output of BCs, using paired recordings between synaptically connected BCs and granule cells in hippo-campal slices. Furthermore, modeling revealed that tight coupling contributed to rapid signaling at BC output synapses.
Our results suggest that parvalbumin-expressing interneurons show fast signaling at the levels of both input and output. These signaling properties are important for rapid feedback and feed-forward inhibition and the generation of fast network oscillations in the brain. Thus, our results provide an example how we are beginning to understand the relation between the properties of dendrites and presynaptic terminals and complex functions of neuronal networks.