In violation of Dale's principle several neuronal subtypes utilize more than one classical neurotransmitter. Molecular identification of vesicular glutamate transporter 3 and cholecystokinin expressing cortical interneurons (CCK+VGluT3+INTs) has prompted speculation of GABA/glutamate corelease from these cells for almost two decades despite a lack of direct evidence. We unequivocally demonstrate CCK+VGluT3+INT mediated GABA/glutamate cotransmission onto principal cells in adult mice using paired recording and optogenetic approaches. Although under normal conditions, GABAergic inhibition dominates CCK+VGluT3+INT signaling, glutamatergic signaling becomes predominant when glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) function is compromised. CCK+VGluT3+INTs exhibit surprising anatomical diversity comprising subsets of all known dendrite targeting CCK+ interneurons in addition to the expected basket cells, and their extensive circuit innervation profoundly dampens circuit excitability under normal conditions. However, in contexts where the glutamatergic phenotype of CCK+VGluT3+INTs is amplified, they promote paradoxical network hyperexcitability which may be relevant to disorders involving GAD dysfunction such as schizophrenia or vitamin B6 deficiency.
All data analyzed in this study are included in the manuscript/supporting files.
- Chris J McBain
- Gordon Fishell
- Gordon Fishell
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All experiments were conducted in accordance with animal protocols approved by the National Institutes of Health (ASP# 17-045).
- Marlene Bartos, University of Freiburg, Germany
This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.
Cochlear implants are neuroprosthetic devices that can restore hearing in people with severe to profound hearing loss by electrically stimulating the auditory nerve. Because of physical limitations on the precision of this stimulation, the acoustic information delivered by a cochlear implant does not convey the same level of acoustic detail as that conveyed by normal hearing. As a result, speech understanding in listeners with cochlear implants is typically poorer and more effortful than in listeners with normal hearing. The brain networks supporting speech understanding in listeners with cochlear implants are not well understood, partly due to difficulties obtaining functional neuroimaging data in this population. In the current study, we assessed the brain regions supporting spoken word understanding in adult listeners with right unilateral cochlear implants (n=20) and matched controls (n=18) using high-density diffuse optical tomography (HD-DOT), a quiet and non-invasive imaging modality with spatial resolution comparable to that of functional MRI. We found that while listening to spoken words in quiet, listeners with cochlear implants showed greater activity in the left prefrontal cortex than listeners with normal hearing, specifically in a region engaged in a separate spatial working memory task. These results suggest that listeners with cochlear implants require greater cognitive processing during speech understanding than listeners with normal hearing, supported by compensatory recruitment of the left prefrontal cortex.
Sleep strongly affects synaptic strength, making it critical for cognition, especially learning and memory formation. Whether and how sleep deprivation modulates human brain physiology and cognition is not well understood. Here we examined how overnight sleep deprivation vs overnight sufficient sleep affects (a) cortical excitability, measured by transcranial magnetic stimulation, (b) inducibility of long-term potentiation (LTP)- and long-term depression (LTD)-like plasticity via transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), and (c) learning, memory, and attention. The results suggest that sleep deprivation upscales cortical excitability due to enhanced glutamate-related cortical facilitation and decreases and/or reverses GABAergic cortical inhibition. Furthermore, tDCS-induced LTP-like plasticity (anodal) abolishes while the inhibitory LTD-like plasticity (cathodal) converts to excitatory LTP-like plasticity under sleep deprivation. This is associated with increased EEG theta oscillations due to sleep pressure. Finally, we show that learning and memory formation, behavioral counterparts of plasticity, and working memory and attention, which rely on cortical excitability, are impaired during sleep deprivation. Our data indicate that upscaled brain excitability and altered plasticity, due to sleep deprivation, are associated with impaired cognitive performance. Besides showing how brain physiology and cognition undergo changes (from neurophysiology to higher-order cognition) under sleep pressure, the findings have implications for variability and optimal application of noninvasive brain stimulation.