Parvalbumin and Somatostatin Interneurons Control Different Space-Coding Networks in the Medial Entorhinal Cortex

Cell. 2017 Oct 19;171(3):507-521.e17. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.08.050. Epub 2017 Sep 28.


The medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) contains several discrete classes of GABAergic interneurons, but their specific contributions to spatial pattern formation in this area remain elusive. We employed a pharmacogenetic approach to silence either parvalbumin (PV)- or somatostatin (SOM)-expressing interneurons while MEC cells were recorded in freely moving mice. PV-cell silencing antagonized the hexagonally patterned spatial selectivity of grid cells, especially in layer II of MEC. The impairment was accompanied by reduced speed modulation in colocalized speed cells. Silencing SOM cells, in contrast, had no impact on grid cells or speed cells but instead decreased the spatial selectivity of cells with discrete aperiodic firing fields. Border cells and head direction cells were not affected by either intervention. The findings point to distinct roles for PV and SOM interneurons in the local dynamics underlying periodic and aperiodic firing in spatially modulated cells of the MEC. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Keywords: GABA; entorhinal cortex; grid cells; inhibition; interneurons; mice; navigation; path integration; space; speed cells.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Entorhinal Cortex / cytology*
  • GABAergic Neurons / metabolism
  • Grid Cells / cytology
  • Interneurons / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neural Pathways
  • Parvalbumins / metabolism*
  • Somatostatin / metabolism*
  • Spatial Processing*


  • Parvalbumins
  • Somatostatin