Distribution and kinetic properties of GABAergic inputs to layer V pyramidal cells in rat auditory cortex

J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2003 Mar;4(1):106-21. doi: 10.1007/s10162-002-3012-z. Epub 2002 Sep 18.


Neocortical layer V is distinguished by both its pyramidal cells and its varied cortical and extracortical projections. Several studies suggest that the layer V pyramidal cell types, intrinsically bursting (IB) and regular spiking (RS) cells, differ both in the circuits in which they participate and in their inhibitory inputs. We quantified differences in inhibitory inputs to RS and IB cells using whole-cell voltage clamp techniques in the auditory cortex. We recorded miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) and spontaneous IPSCs to gain kinetic, amplitude, and frequency information about GABAergic synapses. We then used focal sucrose applications to elicit mIPSC rate increases at the soma or dendrites of both cell types. We also electrically stimulated the axons giving rise to inhibitory synaptic inputs to measure minimally evoked IPSCs occurring at the soma or apical dendrites. We found that spontaneous and evoked IPSCs recorded from the auditory cortex have faster rise and decay kinetics when directly compared with those of the same layer V cells in other sensory cortical areas. We also found that mIPSCs observed in auditory IB and RS cells are different from one another. RS cell mIPSCs are larger and have faster rises and decays than IB cell mIPSCs, but IB cell mIPSCs occur more frequently. Focal sucrose application showed that most IB cell mIPSCs originate in the dendrites and are subject to dendritic filtering while most RS cell mIPSCs originate at the soma and are not filtered. These findings suggest that, first, IB and RS cells process their inputs in fundamentally different ways and, second, auditory cortical RS and IB cells may have specializations that allow them to process inhibitory inputs faster.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / cytology
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Dendrites / drug effects
  • Dendrites / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials / drug effects
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Pyramidal Cells / cytology
  • Pyramidal Cells / drug effects
  • Pyramidal Cells / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology
  • Sucrose / pharmacology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / physiology*


  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Sucrose