Parvalbumin+ interneurons obey unique connectivity rules and establish a powerful lateral-inhibition microcircuit in dentate gyrus

Nat Commun. 2018 Nov 2;9(1):4605. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06899-3.


Parvalbumin-positive (PV+) GABAergic interneurons in hippocampal microcircuits are thought to play a key role in several higher network functions, such as feedforward and feedback inhibition, network oscillations, and pattern separation. Fast lateral inhibition mediated by GABAergic interneurons may implement a winner-takes-all mechanism in the hippocampal input layer. However, it is not clear whether the functional connectivity rules of granule cells (GCs) and interneurons in the dentate gyrus are consistent with such a mechanism. Using simultaneous patch-clamp recordings from up to seven GCs and up to four PV+ interneurons in the dentate gyrus, we find that connectivity is structured in space, synapse-specific, and enriched in specific disynaptic motifs. In contrast to the neocortex, lateral inhibition in the dentate gyrus (in which a GC inhibits neighboring GCs via a PV+ interneuron) is ~ 10-times more abundant than recurrent inhibition (in which a GC inhibits itself). Thus, unique connectivity rules may enable the dentate gyrus to perform specific higher-order computations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dentate Gyrus / physiology*
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Parvalbumins / metabolism*
  • Synapses / physiology


  • Parvalbumins