Cortical Interneurons Differentially Shape Frequency Tuning following Adaptation

Cell Rep. 2017 Oct 24;21(4):878-890. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.10.012.


Neuronal stimulus selectivity is shaped by feedforward and recurrent excitatory-inhibitory interactions. In the auditory cortex (AC), parvalbumin- (PV) and somatostatin-positive (SOM) inhibitory interneurons differentially modulate frequency-dependent responses of excitatory neurons. Responsiveness of neurons in the AC to sound is also dependent on stimulus history. We found that the inhibitory effects of SOMs and PVs diverged as a function of adaptation to temporal repetition of tones. Prior to adaptation, suppressing either SOM or PV inhibition drove both increases and decreases in excitatory spiking activity. After adaptation, suppressing SOM activity caused predominantly disinhibitory effects, whereas suppressing PV activity still evoked bi-directional changes. SOM, but not PV-driven inhibition, dynamically modulated frequency tuning with adaptation. Unlike PV-driven inhibition, SOM-driven inhibition elicited gain-like increases in frequency tuning reflective of adaptation. Our findings suggest that distinct cortical interneurons differentially shape tuning to sensory stimuli across the neuronal receptive field, altering frequency selectivity of excitatory neurons during adaptation.

Keywords: adaptation; archaerhodopsin; auditory cortex; auditory processing; cortical processing; frequency tuning; inhibition; interneurons; optogenetics.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / cytology
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory
  • Interneurons / metabolism
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neural Inhibition
  • Parvalbumins / genetics
  • Parvalbumins / metabolism
  • Somatostatin / genetics
  • Somatostatin / metabolism


  • Parvalbumins
  • Somatostatin