Disentangling neuronal inhibition and inhibitory pathways in the lateral habenula

Sci Rep. 2020 May 22;10(1):8490. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-65349-7.


The lateral habenula (LHb) is hyperactive in depression, and thus potentiating inhibition of this structure makes an interesting target for future antidepressant therapies. However, the circuit mechanisms mediating inhibitory signalling within the LHb are not well-known. We addressed this issue by studying LHb neurons expressing either parvalbumin (PV) or somatostatin (SOM), two markers of particular sub-classes of neocortical inhibitory neurons. Here, we find that both PV and SOM are expressed by physiologically distinct sub-classes. Furthermore, we describe multiple sources of inhibitory input to the LHb arising from both local PV-positive neurons, from PV-positive neurons in the medial dorsal thalamic nucleus, and from SOM-positive neurons in the ventral pallidum. These findings hence provide new insight into inhibitory control within the LHb, and highlight that this structure is more neuronally diverse than previously thought.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Habenula / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Optogenetics
  • Synaptic Transmission*