Interneuron diversity in layers 2-3 of monkey prefrontal cortex

Cereb Cortex. 2009 Jul;19(7):1597-615. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhn198. Epub 2008 Nov 17.


The heterogeneity of gamma-aminobutyric acid interneurons in the rodent neocortex is well-established, but their classification into distinct subtypes remains a matter of debate. The classification of interneurons in the primate neocortex is further complicated by a less extensive database of the features of these neurons and by reported interspecies differences. Consequently, in this study we characterized 8 different morphological types of interneurons from monkey prefrontal cortex, 4 of which have not been previously classified. These interneuron types differed in their expression of molecular markers and clustered into 3 different electrophysiological classes. The first class consisted of fast-spiking parvalbumin-positive chandelier and linear arbor cells. The second class comprised 5 different morphological types of continuous-adapting calretinin- or calbindin-positive interneurons that had the lowest level of firing threshold. However, 2 of these morphological types had short spike duration, which is not typical for rodent adapting cells. Neurogliaform cells (NGFCs), which coexpressed calbindin and neuropeptide Y, formed the third class, characterized by strong initial adaptation. They did not exhibit the delayed spikes seen in rodent NGFCs. These results indicate that primate interneurons have some specific properties; consequently, direct translation of classification schemes developed from studies in rodents to primates might be inappropriate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Interneurons / cytology*
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Nerve Net / cytology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / cytology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*