The ability to modulate the efficacy of synaptic communication between neurons constitutes an essential property critical for normal brain function. Animal models have proved invaluable in revealing a wealth of diverse cellular mechanisms underlying varied plasticity modes. However, to what extent these processes are mirrored in humans is largely uncharted thus questioning their relevance in human circuit function. In this study, we focus on neurogliaform cells, that possess specialized physiological features enabling them to impart a widespread inhibitory influence on neural activity. We demonstrate that this prominent neuronal subtype, embedded in both mouse and human neural circuits, undergo remarkably similar activity-dependent modulation manifesting as epochs of enhanced intrinsic excitability. In principle, these evolutionary conserved plasticity routes likely tune the extent of neurogliaform cell mediated inhibition thus constituting canonical circuit mechanisms underlying human cognitive processing and behavior.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01273129.
Keywords: human; interneuron; intrinsic excitablity; mouse; neurogliaform cell; neuroscience; plasticity.