Enhanced High-Frequency Membrane Potential Fluctuations Control Spike Output in Striatal Fast-Spiking Interneurones in Vivo

J Physiol. 2011 Sep 1;589(17):4365-81. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2011.212944. Epub 2011 Jul 11.


Fast-spiking interneurones (FSIs) constitute a prominent part of the inhibitory microcircuitry of the striatum; however, little is known about their recruitment by synaptic inputs in vivo. Here, we report that, in contrast to cholinergic interneurones (CINs), FSIs (n = 9) recorded in urethane-anaesthetized rats exhibit Down-to-Up state transitions very similar to spiny projection neurones (SPNs). Compared to SPNs, the FSI Up state membrane potential was noisier and power spectra exhibited significantly larger power at frequencies in the gamma range (55-95 Hz). The membrane potential exhibited short and steep trajectories preceding spontaneous spike discharge, suggesting that fast input components controlled spike output in FSIs. Spontaneous spike data contained a high proportion (43.6 ± 32.8%) of small inter-spike intervals (ISIs) of <30 ms, setting FSIs clearly apart from SPNs and CINs. Cortical-evoked inputs had slower dynamics in SPNs than FSIs, and repetitive stimulation entrained SPN spike output only if the stimulation was delivered at an intermediate frequency (20 Hz), but not at a high frequency (100 Hz). Pharmacological induction of an activated ECoG state, known to promote rapid FSI spiking, mildly increased the power (by 43 ± 55%, n = 13) at gamma frequencies in the membrane potential of SPNs, but resulted in few small ISIs (<30 ms; 4.3 ± 6.4%, n = 8). The gamma frequency content did not change in CINs (n = 8). These results indicate that FSIs are uniquely responsive to high-frequency input sequences. By controlling the spike output of SPNs, FSIs could serve gating of top-down signals and long-range synchronisation of gamma-oscillations during behaviour.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Corpus Striatum
  • Interneurons*
  • Membrane Potentials*
  • Neostriatum
  • Neurons