Early establishment of multiple release site connectivity between interneurons and pyramidal neurons in the developing hippocampus

Authors

  • Laurent Groc,

    1. Institute of Physiology and Pharmacology, Department of Physiology, Box 432, Medicinaregatan 11, Göteborg University, 40530 Göteborg Sweden
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  • Bengt Gustafsson,

    1. Institute of Physiology and Pharmacology, Department of Physiology, Box 432, Medicinaregatan 11, Göteborg University, 40530 Göteborg Sweden
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  • Eric Hanse

    1. Institute of Physiology and Pharmacology, Department of Physiology, Box 432, Medicinaregatan 11, Göteborg University, 40530 Göteborg Sweden
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: Dr Laurent Groc, as above.
E-mail: laurent.groc@physiol.gu.se

Abstract

The strength of the synaptic transmission between two neurons critically depends on the number of release sites connecting the neurons. Here we examine the development of connectivity between γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic interneurons and CA1 pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus. GABAergic postsynaptic currents (PSCs) were recorded in whole-cell voltage-clamped CA1 pyramidal neurons. By comparing spontaneous and miniature (action potential-independent) GABAergic PSCs, we found that multiple release site connectivity is established already at the first postnatal day and that the degree of connectivity remains unaltered into adulthood. During the same time there is a dramatic increase in the number of GABAergic synapses on each pyramidal neuron as indicated by the increase in frequency of miniature GABAergic PSCs. These results indicate that during development a given interneuron contacts an increasing number of target pyramidal neurons but with the same multiple release site connectivity. It has been shown previously that the connectivity between CA3 and CA1 pyramidal neurons is initially restricted to one release site, and develops gradually. The present result thus suggests different mechanisms to govern the maturation of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmissions.

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