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Contrasting roles of axonal (pyramidal cell) and dendritic (interneuron) electrical coupling in the generation of neuronal network oscillations

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Fiona LeBeau, Professor Miles Whittington


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Electrical coupling between pyramidal cell axons, and between interneuron dendrites, have both been described in the hippocampus. What are the functional roles of the two types of coupling? Interneuron gap junctions enhance synchrony of γ oscillations (25–70 Hz) in isolated interneuron networks and also in networks containing both interneurons and principal cells, as shown in mice with a knockout of the neuronal (primarily interneuronal) connexin36. We have recently shown that pharmacological gap junction blockade abolishes kainate-induced γ oscillations in connexin36 knockout mice; without such gap junction blockade, γ oscillations do occur in the knockout mice, albeit at reduced power compared with wild-type mice. As interneuronal dendritic electrical coupling is almost absent in the knockout mice, these pharmacological data indicate a role of axonal electrical coupling in generating the γ oscillations. We construct a network model of an experimental γ oscillation, known to be regulated by both types of electrical coupling. In our model, axonal electrical coupling is required for the γ oscillation to occur at all; interneuron dendritic gap junctions exert a modulatory effect.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Traub RD, Pais I, Bibbig A, LeBeau FEN, Buhl EH, Hormizdi S, Monyer H, Whittington MA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Year: 2003

Volume: 100

Issue: 3

Pages: 1370-1374

ISSN (print): 0027-8424

ISSN (electronic): 1091-6490

Publisher: National Academy of Sciences


DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0337529100


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