Dense, unspecific connectivity of neocortical parvalbumin-positive interneurons: a canonical microcircuit for inhibition? Academic Article uri icon


  • GABAergic interneurons play a major role in the function of the mammalian neocortex, but their circuit connectivity is still poorly understood. We used two-photon RuBi-Glutamate uncaging to optically map how the largest population of cortical interneurons, the parvalbumin-positive cells (PV+), are connected to pyramidal cells (PCs) in mouse neocortex. We found locally dense connectivity from PV+ interneurons onto PCs across cortical areas and layers. In many experiments, all nearby PV+ cells were connected to every local PC sampled. In agreement with this, we found no evidence for connection specificity, as PV+ interneurons contacted PC pairs similarly regardless of whether they were synaptically connected or not. We conclude that the microcircuit architecture for PV+ interneurons, and probably neocortical inhibition in general, is an unspecific, densely homogenous matrix covering all nearby pyramidal cells.

publication date

  • September 14, 2011