Early Somatostatin Interneuron Connectivity Mediates the Maturation of Deep Layer Cortical Circuits

Neuron. 2016 Feb 3;89(3):521-35. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.11.020.


The precise connectivity of somatostatin and parvalbumin cortical interneurons is generated during development. An understanding of how these interneuron classes incorporate into cortical circuitry is incomplete but essential to elucidate the roles they play during maturation. Here, we report that somatostatin interneurons in infragranular layers receive dense but transient innervation from thalamocortical afferents during the first postnatal week. During this period, parvalbumin interneurons and pyramidal neurons within the same layers receive weaker thalamocortical inputs, yet are strongly innervated by somatostatin interneurons. Further, upon disruption of the early (but not late) somatostatin interneuron network, the synaptic maturation of thalamocortical inputs onto parvalbumin interneurons is perturbed. These results suggest that infragranular somatostatin interneurons exhibit a transient early synaptic connectivity that is essential for the establishment of thalamic feedforward inhibition mediated by parvalbumin interneurons.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / growth & development*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Neural Pathways / growth & development*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Parvalbumins / physiology*
  • Pyramidal Cells / physiology
  • Somatostatin / physiology*
  • Thalamus / growth & development
  • Thalamus / physiology*


  • Parvalbumins
  • Somatostatin