Interneurons are GABAergic neurons responsible for inhibitory activity in the adult hippocampus, thereby controlling the activity of principal excitatory cells through the activation of postsynaptic GABAA receptors. Subgroups of GABAergic neurons innervate specific parts of excitatory neurons. This specificity indicates that particular interneuron subgroups are able to recognize molecules segregated on the membrane of the pyramidal neuron. Once these specific connections are established, a quantitative regulation of their strength must be performed to achieve the proper balance of excitation and inhibition. We will review when and where interneurons are generated. We will then detail their migration toward and within the hippocampus, and the maturation of their morphological and neurochemical characteristics. We will finally review potential mechanisms underlying the development of GABAergic interneurons.
(c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.