The ability of neurons to produce behaviorally relevant activity in the absence of pathology relies on the fine balance of synaptic inhibition to excitation. In the hippocampal CA1 microcircuit, this balance is maintained by a diverse population of inhibitory interneurons that receive largely similar glutamatergic afferents as their target pyramidal cells, with EPSCs generated by both AMPA receptors (AMPARs) and NMDA receptors (NMDARs). In this study, we take advantage of a recently generated GluN2A-null rat model to assess the contribution of GluN2A subunits to glutamatergic synaptic currents in three subclasses of interneuron found in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. For both parvalbumin-positive and somatostatin-positive interneurons, the GluN2A subunit is expressed at glutamatergic synapses and contributes to the EPSC. In contrast, in cholecystokinin (CCK)-positive interneurons, the contribution of GluN2A to the EPSC is negligible. Furthermore, synaptic potentiation at glutamatergic synapses on CCK-positive interneurons does not require the activation of GluN2A-containing NMDARs but does rely on the activation of NMDARs containing GluN2B and GluN2D subunits.
Keywords: NMDA receptor; hippocampus; interneuron; long-term potentiation; receptor subunits; whole-cell patch-clamp.
Copyright © 2021 Booker et al.