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  Reliable synaptic connections between pairs of excitatory layer 4 neurones within a single barrel of developing rat somatosensory cortex

Feldmeyer, D., Egger, V., Lübke, J. H. R., & Sakmann, B. (1999). Reliable synaptic connections between pairs of excitatory layer 4 neurones within a single barrel of developing rat somatosensory cortex. The Journal of Physiology - London, 521(1), 169-190. doi:0.1111/j.1469-7793.1999.00169.x.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-9CBF-B Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-9CC0-5
Genre: Journal Article
Alternative Title : Reliable synaptic connections between pairs of excitatory layer 4 neurones within a single barrel of developing rat somatosensory cortex

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Feldmeyer, Dirk1, Author              
Egger, Veronica1, Author              
Lübke, Joachim H. R., Author
Sakmann, Bert1, Author              
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1Department of Cell Physiology, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society, ou_1497701              

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 Abstract: 1. Dual whole-cell recordings were made from pairs of synaptically coupled excitatory neurones in the 'barrel field' in layer (L) 4 in slices of young (postnatal day 12-15) rat somatosensory cortex. The majority of interconnected excitatory neurones were spiny stellate cells with an asymmetrical dendritic arborisation largely confined to a single barrel. The remainder were star pyramidal cells with a prominent apical dendrite terminating in L2/3 without forming a tuft. 2. Excitatory synaptic connections were examined between 131 pairs of spiny L4 neurones. Single presynaptic action potentials evoked unitary EPSPs with a peak amplitude of 1.59 +/- 1.51 mV (mean +/- s. d.), a latency of 0.92 +/- 0.35 ms, a rise time of 1.53 +/- 0.46 ms and a decay time constant of 17.8 +/- 6.3 ms. 3. At 34-36 C, the coefficient of variation (c.v.) of the unitary EPSP amplitude was 0. 37 +/- 0.16 and the percentage of failures to evoke an EPSP was 5.3 +/- 7.8 %. The c.v. and failure rate decreased with increasing amplitude of the unitary EPSP. 4. Postsynaptic glutamate receptors in spiny L4 neurones were of the AMPA and NMDA type. At -60 mV in the presence of 1 mM Mg2+, NMDA receptors contributed 39.3 +/- 12.5 % to the EPSP integral. In Mg2+-free solution, the NMDA receptor/AMPA receptor ratio of the EPSC was 0.86 +/- 0.64. 5. The number of putative synaptic contacts established by the projection neurone with the target neurone varied between two and five with a mean of 3.4 +/- 1.0 (n = 11). Synaptic contacts were exclusively found in the barrel in which the cell pair was located and were preferentially located on secondary to quarternary dendritic branches. Their mean geometric distance from the soma was 68.8 +/- 37.4 microm (range, 33.4-168.0 microm). The number of synaptic contacts and mean EPSP amplitude showed no significant correlation. 6. The results suggest that in L4 of the barrel cortex synaptic transmission between spiny neurones is largely restricted to a single barrel. The connections are very reliable, probably due to a high release probability, and have a high efficacy because of the compact structure of the dendrites and axons of spiny neurones. Intrabarrel connections thus function to amplify and distribute the afferent thalamic activity in the vertical directions of a cortical column.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 1999-05-271999-09-022004-09-071999-11-15
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 22
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
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Title: The Journal of Physiology - London
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Cambridge University Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 521 (1) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 169 - 190 Identifier: ISSN: 0022-3751
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925334693_2