Inhibition-induced theta resonance in cortical circuits

Neuron. 2013 Dec 4;80(5):1263-76. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.09.033.


Both circuit and single-cell properties contribute to network rhythms. In vitro, pyramidal cells exhibit theta-band membrane potential (subthreshold) resonance, but whether and how subthreshold resonance translates into spiking resonance in freely behaving animals is unknown. Here, we used optogenetic activation to trigger spiking in pyramidal cells or parvalbumin immunoreactive interneurons (PV) in the hippocampus and neocortex of freely behaving rodents. Individual directly activated pyramidal cells exhibited narrow-band spiking centered on a wide range of frequencies. In contrast, PV photoactivation indirectly induced theta-band-limited, excess postinhibitory spiking in pyramidal cells (resonance). PV-inhibited pyramidal cells and interneurons spiked at PV-inhibition troughs, similar to CA1 cells during spontaneous theta oscillations. Pharmacological blockade of hyperpolarization-activated (I(h)) currents abolished theta resonance. Inhibition-induced theta-band spiking was replicated in a pyramidal cell-interneuron model that included I(h). Thus, PV interneurons mediate pyramidal cell spiking resonance in intact cortical networks, favoring transmission at theta frequency.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Biophysics
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2 / genetics
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Channelrhodopsins
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Optogenetics
  • Parvalbumins / genetics
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Theta Rhythm / physiology*


  • Channelrhodopsins
  • Parvalbumins
  • enhanced green fluorescent protein
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2