Heterogeneity and Diversity of Striatal GABAergic Interneurons: Update 2018

Front Neuroanat. 2018 Nov 8;12:91. doi: 10.3389/fnana.2018.00091. eCollection 2018.


Our original review, "Heterogeneity and Diversity of Striatal GABAergic Interneurons," to which this is an invited update, was published in December, 2010 in Frontiers is Neuroanatomy. In that article, we reviewed several decades' worth of anatomical and electrophysiological data on striatal parvalbumin (PV)-, neuropeptide Y (NPY)- and calretinin(CR)-expressing GABAergic interneurons from many laboratories including our own. In addition, we reported on a recently discovered novel tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expressing GABAergic interneuron class first revealed in transgenic TH EGFP reporter mouse line. In this review, we report on further advances in the understanding of the functional properties of previously reported striatal GABAergic interneurons and their synaptic connections. With the application of new transgenic fluorescent reporter and Cre-driver/reporter lines, plus optogenetic, chemogenetic and viral transduction methods, several additional subtypes of novel striatal GABAergic interneurons have been discovered, as well as the synaptic networks in which they are embedded. These findings make it clear that previous hypotheses in which striatal GABAergic interneurons modulate and/or control the firing of spiny neurons principally by simple feedforward and/or feedback inhibition are at best incomplete. A more accurate picture is one in which there are highly selective and specific afferent inputs, synaptic connections between different interneuron subtypes and spiny neurons and among different GABAergic interneurons that result in the formation of functional networks and ensembles of spiny neurons.

Keywords: GABA; interneurons; neuroanatomy; neurophysiology; striatum.