Development of inhibitory timescales in auditory cortex

Cereb Cortex. 2011 Jun;21(6):1351-61. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhq214. Epub 2010 Nov 10.


The time course of inhibition plays an important role in cortical sensitivity, tuning, and temporal response properties. We investigated the development of L2/3 inhibitory circuitry between fast-spiking (FS) interneurons and pyramidal cells (PCs) in auditory thalamocortical slices from mice between postnatal day 10 (P10) and P29. We found that the maturation of the intrinsic and synaptic properties of both FS cells and their connected PCs influence the timescales of inhibition. FS cell firing rates increased with age owing to decreased membrane time constants, shorter afterhyperpolarizations, and narrower action potentials. Between FS-PC pairs, excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) changed with age. The latencies, rise, and peak times of the IPSPs, as well as the decay constants of both EPSPs and IPSPs decreased between P10 and P29. In addition, decreases in short-term depression at excitatory PC-FS synapses resulted in more sustained synaptic responses during repetitive stimulation. Finally, we show that during early development, the temporal properties that influence the recruitment of inhibition lag those of excitation. Taken together, our results suggest that the changes in the timescales of inhibitory recruitment coincide with the development of the tuning and temporal response properties of auditory cortical networks.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Auditory Cortex / cytology*
  • Auditory Cortex / growth & development*
  • Auditory Cortex / metabolism
  • Biophysics
  • Electric Stimulation / methods
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interneurons / physiology
  • Lysine / analogs & derivatives
  • Lysine / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / growth & development
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Parvalbumins / metabolism
  • Synaptic Potentials / genetics
  • Synaptic Potentials / physiology
  • Time Factors


  • Parvalbumins
  • enhanced green fluorescent protein
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase
  • glutamate decarboxylase 1
  • biocytin
  • Lysine