Afferent-specific innervation of two distinct AMPA receptor subtypes on single hippocampal interneurons

Nat Neurosci. 1998 Nov;1(7):572-8. doi: 10.1038/2807.


Using the polyamine toxin philanthotoxin, which selectively blocks calcium-permeable AMPA receptors, we show that synaptic transmission onto single hippocampal interneurons occurs by afferent-specific activation of philanthotoxin-sensitive and -insensitive AMPA receptors. Calcium-permeable AMPA receptors are found exclusively at synapses from mossy fibers. In contrast, synaptic responses evoked by stimulation of CA3 pyramidal neurons are mediated by calcium-impermeable AMPA receptors. Both pathways converge onto single interneurons and can be discriminated with Group II mGluR agonists. Thus, single interneurons target AMPA receptors of different subunit composition to specific postsynaptic sites, providing a mechanism to increase the synapse-specific computational properties of hippocampal interneurons.

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / physiology
  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interneurons / drug effects
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Interneurons / ultrastructure
  • Mossy Fibers, Hippocampal / metabolism
  • Permeability
  • Polyamines*
  • Pyramidal Cells / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, AMPA / metabolism
  • Receptors, AMPA / physiology*
  • Synapses / metabolism
  • Wasp Venoms / pharmacology


  • Polyamines
  • Receptors, AMPA
  • Wasp Venoms
  • delta-philanthotoxin
  • Calcium