Nature neuroscience

Dual origins of functionally distinct O-LM interneurons revealed by differential 5-HT(3A)R expression.

PMID 24097043


Forebrain circuits rely upon a relatively small but remarkably diverse population of GABAergic interneurons to bind and entrain large principal cell assemblies for network synchronization and rhythmogenesis. Despite the high degree of heterogeneity across cortical interneurons, members of a given subtype typically exhibit homogeneous developmental origins, neuromodulatory response profiles, morphological characteristics, neurochemical signatures and electrical features. Here we report a surprising divergence among hippocampal oriens-lacunosum moleculare (O-LM) projecting interneurons that have hitherto been considered a homogeneous cell population. Combined immunocytochemical, anatomical and electrophysiological interrogation of Htr3a-GFP and Nkx2-1-cre:RCE mice revealed that O-LM cells parse into a caudal ganglionic eminence-derived subpopulation expressing 5-HT(3A) receptors (5-HT(3A)Rs) and a medial ganglionic eminence-derived subpopulation lacking 5-HT(3A)Rs. These two cohorts differentially participate in network oscillations, with 5-HT(3A)R-containing O-LM cell recruitment dictated by serotonergic tone. Thus, members of a seemingly uniform interneuron population can exhibit unique circuit functions and neuromodulatory properties dictated by disparate developmental origins.