Inhibitory interneurons in the piriform cortex

Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2007 Oct;34(10):1064-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1681.2007.04723.x.


1. The piriform cortex (PC) is the largest subdivision of the olfactory cortex and the first cortical destination of olfactory information. Despite the relatively simple anatomy of the PC and its obvious appeal as a model system for the study of cortical sensory processing, there are many outstanding questions about its basic cell physiology. In the present article, we review what is known about GABAergic inhibitory interneurons in the PC. 2. The GABA-containing neurons in the PC are morphologically diverse, ranging from small neurogliaform cells to large multipolar forms. Some of these classes are distributed across all three main layers of the PC, whereas others have a more restricted laminar expression. 3. Distinct and overlapping populations of GABAergic basket cells in Layers II and III of the PC express different combinations of calcium-binding proteins and neuropeptides. Few Layer I interneurons express any of the molecular markers so far examined. 4. The intrinsic firing properties of one or two types of putative PC interneurons have been measured and inhibitory post-synaptic responses have been recorded in PC pyramidal cells following extracellular stimulation. However, little is known about the physiology of the subtypes of interneurons identified. 5. In view of the likely importance of PC interneurons in olfactory learning, olfactory coding and epileptogenesis, further investigation of their properties is likely to be highly informative.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Humans
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Olfactory Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology*


  • Biomarkers