Microcircuit organization of the perisomatic inhibition in the medial prefrontal cortex
Prefrontal cortex plays a role in many higher order cognitive processes.
To understand the operational principles of neuronal circuits within the prefrontal cortex, we study the properties of the connectivity between the excitatory pyramidal cells and inhibitory interneurons innervating their perisomatic region (i.e. the somata, proximal dendrites and axon initial segments). These GABAergic cells (basket and axo-axonic cells) provide a very powerful inhibitory control on the spiking activity of their postsynaptic partners. Therefore, perisomatic region-targeting interneurons are in a key position to profoundly regulate network operation, innervating thousands of pyramidal neurons. The importance of this research direction is underscored by the fact that the malfunction of perisomatic inhibition typifies many mental disorders, including schizophrenia and autism.