Synaptic Communication

Science's STKE  08 May 2007:
Vol. 2007, Issue 385, pp. tw162
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3852007tw162

The traditional view of pyramidal neurons, which are excitatory, is that they can only excite their downstream target cells. However, Ren et al. report that cortical pyramidal neurons can elicit an inhibitory synaptic current in another neighboring pyramidal neuron. These unusual responses were caused by axo-axonic disynaptic connections onto γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-releasing terminals located on or near the soma of the postsynaptic pyramidal cell. These so-called interpyramidal inhibitory postsynaptic currents were remarkably large and frequent, which suggests that they play an important role.

M. Ren, Y. Yoshimura, N. Takada, S. Horibe, Y. Komatsu, Specialized inhibitory synaptic actions between nearby neocortical pyramidal neurons. Science 316, 758-761 (2007). [Abstract] [Full Text]