Optogenetic silencing strategies differ in their effects on inhibitory synaptic transmission

Nat Neurosci. 2012 Jun 24;15(8):1102-4. doi: 10.1038/nn.3143.


Optogenetic silencing using light-driven ion fluxes permits rapid and effective inhibition of neural activity. Using rodent hippocampal neurons, we found that silencing activity with a chloride pump can increase the probability of synaptically evoked spiking after photoactivation; this did not occur with a proton pump. This effect can be accounted for by changes to the GABA(A) receptor reversal potential and demonstrates an important difference between silencing strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Ion Pumps* / metabolism
  • Ion Pumps* / radiation effects
  • Neural Inhibition / radiation effects*
  • Neurons / radiation effects*
  • Proton Pumps / metabolism
  • Proton Pumps / radiation effects
  • Rats
  • Receptors, GABA-A* / metabolism
  • Receptors, GABA-A* / radiation effects
  • Synaptic Transmission* / physiology
  • Synaptic Transmission* / radiation effects


  • Ion Pumps
  • Proton Pumps
  • Receptors, GABA-A