The medial prefrontal cortex plays a key role in higher order cognitive functions like decision making and social cognition. These complex behaviors emerge from the coordinated firing of prefrontal neurons. Fast-spiking interneurons (FSIs) control the timing of excitatory neuron firing via somatic inhibition and generate gamma (30-100 Hz) oscillations. Therefore, factors that regulate how FSIs respond to gamma-frequency input could affect both prefrontal circuit activity and behavior. Here, we show that serotonin (5HT), which is known to regulate gamma power, acts via 5HT2A receptors to suppress an inward-rectifying potassium conductance in FSIs. This leads to depolarization, increased input resistance, enhanced spiking, and slowed decay of excitatory post-synaptic potentials (EPSPs). Notably, we found that slowed EPSP decay preferentially enhanced temporal summation and firing elicited by gamma frequency inputs. These findings show how changes in passive membrane properties can affect not only neuronal excitability but also the temporal filtering of synaptic inputs.
- Jegath C Athilingam
- Vikaas Sohal
- Kevin Bender
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols (AN170116, AN129822-02F) of the University of California, San Francisco. All surgery was performed under isofluorane anesthesia, and every effort was made to minimize suffering.
- Marlene Bartos, University of Freiburg, Germany
© 2017, Athilingam et al.
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