The dynamics of inhibitory circuits in the cortex is thought to rely mainly on synaptic modifications. We challenge this view by showing that hippocampal parvalbumin-positive basket cells (PV-BCs) of the CA1 region express long-term (>30 min) potentiation of intrinsic neuronal excitability (LTP-IE(PV-BC)) upon brief repetitive stimulation of the Schaffer collaterals. LTP-IE(PV-BC) is induced by synaptic activation of metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 (mGluR5) and mediated by the downregulation of Kv1 channel activity. LTP-IE(PV-BC) promotes spiking activity at the gamma frequency (∼35 Hz) and facilitates recruitment of PV-BCs to balance synaptic and intrinsic excitation in pyramidal neurons. In conclusion, activity-dependent modulation of intrinsic neuronal excitability in PV-BCs maintains excitatory-inhibitory balance and thus plays a major role in the dynamics of hippocampal circuits.
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