Anatomical and physiological studies have led to the assumption that the dorsal striatum receives exclusively excitatory afferents from the cortex. Here we test the hypothesis that the dorsal striatum receives also GABAergic projections from the cortex. We addressed this fundamental question by taking advantage of optogenetics and directly examining the functional effects of cortical GABAergic inputs to spiny projection neurons (SPNs) of the mouse auditory and motor cortex. We found that the cortex, via corticostriatal somatostatin neurons (CS-SOM), has a direct inhibitory influence on the output of the striatum SPNs. Our results describe a corticostriatal long-range inhibitory circuit (CS-SOM inhibitory projections → striatal SPNs) underlying the control of spike timing/generation in SPNs and attributes a specific function to a genetically defined type of cortical interneuron in corticostriatal communication.
Animal experimentation: Apicella IACUC protocol number: IS00000135All animal procedures were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Procedures followed animal welfare guidelines set by the National Institutes of Health. Mice used in this experiment were housed in a vivarium maintaining a 12 hour light/dark schedule and given ad libidum access to mouse chow and water.Mice were initially anesthetized with isoflurane (3%; 1 L/min O2 flow) in preparation for the stereotaxic injections.
- Sacha B Nelson, Brandeis University, United States
© 2016, Rock et al.
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