Active dendrites and spike propagation in multicompartment models of oriens-lacunosum/moleculare hippocampal interneurons

Authors

  • F. Saraga,

    Corresponding author
    1. Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 2S8
    2. Departments of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 2S8
    • Corresponding author
      F. Saraga: Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, 399 Bathurst Street, MP13-308, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 2S8. Email: fernanda.saraga@utoronto.ca

    Search for more papers by this author
  • C. P. Wu,

    1. Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 2S8
    Search for more papers by this author
  • L. Zhang,

    1. Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 2S8
    2. Departments of Medicine (Neurology), University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 2S8
    Search for more papers by this author
  • F. K. Skinner

    1. Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 2S8
    2. Departments of Medicine (Neurology), University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 2S8
    3. Departments of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 2S8
    4. Departments of Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 2S8
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

It is well known that interneurons are heterogeneous in their morphologies, biophysical properties, pharmacological sensitivities and electrophysiological responses, but it is unknown how best to understand this diversity. Given their critical roles in shaping brain output, it is important to try to understand the functionality of their computational characteristics. To do this, we focus on specific interneuron subtypes. In particular, it has recently been shown that long-term potentiation is induced specifically on oriens-lacunosum/moleculare (O-LM) interneurons in hippocampus CA1 and that the same cells contain the highest density of dendritic sodium and potassium conductances measured to date. We have created multi-compartment models of an O-LM hippocampal interneuron using passive properties, channel kinetics, densities and distributions specific to this cell type, and explored its signalling characteristics. We found that spike initiation depends on both location and amount of input, as well as the intrinsic properties of the interneuron. Distal synaptic input always produces strong back-propagating spikes whereas proximal input could produce both forward- and back-propagating spikes depending on the input strength. We speculate that the highly active dendrites of these interneurons endow them with a specialized function within the hippocampal circuitry by allowing them to regulate direct and indirect signalling pathways within the hippocampus.

Ancillary