Interneuron Diversity series: Rhythm and mood in perisomatic inhibition

Trends Neurosci. 2003 Sep;26(9):489-95. doi: 10.1016/S0166-2236(03)00227-3.


GABAergic interneurons innervating the perisomatic region of pyramidal cells control population discharge patterns, and thereby all cognitive operations in the cerebral cortex. A striking dichotomy in the function of this interneuron population seems to emerge from the synthesis of recent molecular, anatomical and electrophysiological data. Synaptically and electrically coupled networks of parvalbumin-containing basket cells operate as a non-plastic, precision clockwork for gamma and theta oscillations, and are indispensable for basic cortical processing. By contrast, a highly modifiable interneuron syncytium containing cholecystokinin carries information from subcortical pathways about the emotional, motivational and general physiological state of the animal, and appears to be involved in the fine-tuning of network cooperativity. Impairment of this inhibitory mechanism is likely to result in mood disorders such as anxiety.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Affect / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Anxiety Disorders / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Cholecystokinin / metabolism
  • Cortical Synchronization
  • Interneurons / metabolism
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neural Inhibition*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Parvalbumins / metabolism
  • Periodicity*
  • Pyramidal Cells / physiology
  • Theta Rhythm
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / physiology*


  • Parvalbumins
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Cholecystokinin