This is an historical archive of the activities of the MRC Anatomical Neuropharmacology Unit (MRC ANU) that operated at the University of Oxford from 1985 until March 2015. The MRC ANU established a reputation for world-leading research on the brain, for training new generations of scientists, and for engaging the general public in neuroscience. The successes of the MRC ANU are now built upon at the MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit at the University of Oxford.

News- Slow GABA transient and receptor desensitization shape synaptic responses evoked by hippocampal neurogliaform cells

A paper from Capogna's group has been published last week in the Journal of Neuroscience 30(29):9898-9909, 2010.


The kinetics of GABAergic synaptic currents can vary by an order of magnitude depending on the cell type. The neurogliaform cell (NGFC) has recently been identified as a key generator of slow GABAAreceptor-mediated volume transmission in the isocortex. However, the mechanisms underlying slow GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents and their use-dependent plasticity remain unknown. Here we provide experimental and modelling data showing that hippocampal NGFCs generate an unusually prolonged (tens of milliseconds) but low-concentration (micromolar range) GABA transient which is responsible for the slow response kinetics and which leads to a robust desensitization of postsynaptic GABAA receptors. This strongly contributes to the use-dependent synaptic depression elicited by various patterns of NGFC activity including the one detected during theta network oscillations in vivo. Synaptic depression mediated by NGFCs is likely to play an important modulatory role in the feedforward inhibition of CA1 pyramidal cells provided by the entorhinal cortex.

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