Cortical and thalamic inputs exert cell type-specific feedforward inhibition on striatal GABAergic interneurons

Maxime Assous, James M. Tepper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The classical view of striatal GABAergic interneuron function has been that they operate as largely independent, parallel, feedforward inhibitory elements providing inhibitory inputs to spiny projection neurons (SPNs). Much recent evidence has shown that the extrinsic innervation of striatal interneurons is not indiscriminate but rather very specific, and that striatal interneurons are themselves interconnected in a cell type-specific manner. This suggests that the ultimate effect of extrinsic inputs on striatal neuronal activity depends critically on synaptic interactions within interneuronal circuitry. Here, we compared the cortical and thalamic input to two recently described subtypes of striatal GABAergic interneurons, tyrosine hydroxylase-expressing interneurons (THINs), and spontaneously active bursty interneurons (SABIs) using transgenic TH-Cre and Htr3a-Cre mice of both sexes. Our results show that both THINs and SABIs receive strong excitatory input from the motor cortex and the thalamic parafascicular nucleus. Cortical optogenetic stimulation also evokes disynaptic inhibitory GABAergic responses in THINs but not in SABIs. In contrast, optogenetic stimulation of the parafascicular nucleus induces disynaptic inhibitory responses in both interneuron populations. However, the short-term plasticity of these disynaptic inhibitory responses is different suggesting the involvement of different intrastriatal microcircuits. Altogether, our results point to highly specific interneuronal circuits that are selectively engaged by different excitatory inputs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1491-1502
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


  • GABAergic interneurons
  • feedforward inhibition
  • glutamate
  • striatum


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