Auditory processing depends upon inhibitory signaling by interneurons, even at its earliest stages in the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN). Remarkably, to date only a single subtype of inhibitory neuron has been documented in the VCN, a projection neuron termed the D-stellate cell. With the use of a transgenic mouse line, optical clearing and imaging techniques, combined with electrophysiological tools, we revealed a population of glycinergic cells in the VCN distinct from the D-stellate cell. These multipolar glycinergic cells were smaller in soma size and dendritic area, but over 10-fold more numerous than D-stellate cells. They were activated by AN and T-stellate cells, and made local inhibitory synaptic contacts on principal cells of the VCN. Given their abundance, combined with their narrow dendritic fields and axonal projections, it is likely that these neurons, here termed L-stellate cells, play a significant role in frequency-specific processing of acoustic signals.
Datasets have been uploaded to Dryad, with the DOI doi:10.5061/dryad.69p8cz8xpThese are referred to in the appropriate figure legends.
Data from: Discovery of a novel inhibitory neuron class, the L-Stellate cells of the cochlear nucleusDryad Digital Repository, doi:10.5061/dryad.69p8cz8xp.
- Laurence O Trussell
- Laurence O Trussell
- Laurence O Trussell
- Tenzin Ngodup
- Gabriel E Romero
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 experimental procedures were approved by the Oregon Health and Science University's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, under protocol IP00000952.
- Dwight E Bergles, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, United States
© 2020, Ngodup et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Postsynaptic mitochondria are critical for the development, plasticity, and maintenance of synaptic inputs. However, their relationship to synaptic structure and functional activity is unknown. We examined a correlative dataset from ferret visual cortex with in vivo two-photon calcium imaging of dendritic spines during visual stimulation and electron microscopy reconstructions of spine ultrastructure, investigating mitochondrial abundance near functionally and structurally characterized spines. Surprisingly, we found no correlation to structural measures of synaptic strength. Instead, we found that mitochondria are positioned near spines with orientation preferences that are dissimilar to the somatic preference. Additionally, we found that mitochondria are positioned near groups of spines with heterogeneous orientation preferences. For a subset of spines with a mitochondrion in the head or neck, synapses were larger and exhibited greater selectivity to visual stimuli than those without a mitochondrion. Our data suggest mitochondria are not necessarily positioned to support the energy needs of strong spines, but rather support the structurally and functionally diverse inputs innervating the basal dendrites of cortical neurons.
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