Perisomatic GABA release and thalamocortical integration onto neocortical excitatory cells are regulated by neuromodulators

Neuron. 2008 Jun 26;58(6):911-24. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.04.024.


Neuromodulators such as acetylcholine, serotonin, and noradrenaline are powerful regulators of neocortical activity. Although it is well established that cortical inhibition is the target of these modulations, little is known about their effects on GABA release from specific interneuron types. This knowledge is necessary to gain a mechanistic understanding of the actions of neuromodulators because different interneuron classes control specific aspects of excitatory cell function. Here, we report that GABA release from fast-spiking (FS) cells, the most prevalent interneuron subtype in neocortex, is robustly inhibited following activation of muscarinic, serotonin, adenosine, and GABA(B) receptors--an effect that regulates FS cell control of excitatory neuron firing. The potent muscarinic inhibition of GABA release from FS cells suppresses thalamocortical feedforward inhibition. This is supplemented by the muscarinic-mediated depolarization of thalamo-recipient excitatory neurons and the nicotinic enhancement of thalamic input onto these neurons to promote thalamocortical excitation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Neocortex / cytology
  • Neocortex / metabolism*
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / cytology
  • Neural Pathways / metabolism
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Thalamus / cytology
  • Thalamus / metabolism*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism*


  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid