Editors' ChoiceNeurobiology

The Specific Origin of Slow Inhibition in the Brain

Science's STKE  25 Mar 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 175, pp. tw124-TW124
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.175.tw124

Inhibitory processes play an important role in information processing in the cerebral cortex. The origin of a particular subtype of these processes, slow cortical synaptic events mediated by γ-aminobutyric acid type B (GABAB) receptors, is not clear. Are they initiated by specific presynaptic cells, or can they be activated by high-frequency action potentials in most interneurons? Tamás et al. show that GABA release at synapses between GABAergic neurogliaform interneurons and pyramidal cells in layers 2 to 3 led to the combined postsynaptic activation of GABAA and GABAB receptors. This finding indicates that slow, GABAB-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic potentials arrive from unitary sources in cortical networks.

G. Tamás, A. Lőrincz, A. Simon, J. Szabadics, Identified sources and targets of slow inhibition in the neocortex. Science 299, 1902-1905 (2003). [Abstract] [Full Text]