Different glutamate receptor channels mediate fast excitatory synaptic currents in inhibitory and excitatory cortical neurons

Neuron. 1993 Dec;11(6):1083-91. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(93)90221-c.


Spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) and responses to rapid application of glutamate were recorded in excitatory spiny, pyramidal neurons and compared with those recorded in inhibitory aspiny interneurons. The sEPSC decay time constant was faster in aspiny interneurons (2.5 ms) compared with pyramidal neurons (4.6 ms). The decay time constant in response to a brief application (1 ms) of glutamate (10 mM) in patches excised from pyramidal and aspiny interneurons were similar (1.9 and 2.7 ms, respectively). However, the rate of desensitization was faster in patches from interneurons compared with pyramidal neurons (3.4 and 12.0 ms, respectively). In addition, single-channel conductance was larger in aspiny interneurons (27 pS) compared with pyramidal neurons (9 pS). These results indicate that pyramidal neurons and aspiny interneurons express different non-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors and that selective desensitization of interneuron receptors may contribute to depression of inhibition.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Evoked Potentials*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Ion Channels / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Pyramidal Tracts / physiology
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Glutamate / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*


  • Ion Channels
  • Receptors, Glutamate