Interneurons unbound

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2001 Jan;2(1):11-23. doi: 10.1038/35049047.


Local-circuit, gamma-aminobutyric acid-releasing inhibitory interneurons of the hippocampus and cortex have traditionally been considered as the regulators of principal neuron activity--the yin to the excitatory yang. Recent evidence indicates that, in addition to that role, their network connectivity and the properties of their intrinsic voltage-gated currents are finely tuned to permit inhibitory interneurons to generate and control the rhythmic output of large populations of both principal cells and other populations of inhibitory interneurons. This review brings together recently described properties and emerging principles of interneuron function that indicate a much more complex role for these cells than just providers of inhibition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Ion Channels / physiology
  • Receptors, Glutamate / physiology
  • Receptors, Kainic Acid / physiology
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / physiology*


  • Ion Channels
  • Receptors, Glutamate
  • Receptors, Kainic Acid
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid