Distinct molecular programs regulate synapse specificity in cortical inhibitory circuits

Emilia Favuzzi, Rubén Deogracias, André Marques-Smith, Patricia Maeso, Julie Jezequel, David Exposito-Alonso, Maddalena Balia, Tim Kroon, Antonio J. Hinojosa, Elisa F. Maraver, Beatriz Rico
Science. 2019-01-24; 363(6425): 413-417
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau8977

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How neuronal connections are established and organized into functional networks determines brain function. In the mammalian cerebral cortex, different classes of GABAergic interneurons exhibit specific connectivity patterns that underlie their ability to shape temporal dynamics and information processing. Much progress has been made toward parsing interneuron diversity, yet the molecular mechanisms by which interneuron-specific connectivity motifs emerge remain unclear. In this study, we investigated transcriptional dynamics in different classes of interneurons during the formation of cortical inhibitory circuits in mouse. We found that whether interneurons form synapses on the dendrites, soma, or axon initial segment of pyramidal cells is determined by synaptic molecules that are expressed in a subtype-specific manner. Thus, cell-specific molecular programs that unfold during early postnatal development underlie the connectivity patterns of cortical interneurons.

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