Feature Finding Figure

Distinct Physiological Maturation of Parvalbumin-Positive Neuron Subtypes in Mouse Prefrontal Cortex

Parvalbumin-positive (PV+) neurons control the timing of pyramidal cell output in cortical neuron networks. In the prefrontal cortex (PFC), PV+ neuron activity is involved in cognitive function, suggesting that PV+ neuron maturation is critical for cognitive development. The two major PV+ neuron subtypes found in the PFC, chandelier cells (ChCs) and basket cells (BCs) (top panel), are thought to play different roles in cortical circuits, but the trajectories of their physiological maturation have not been compared. Using two separate mouse lines, we found that in the mature PFC, both ChCs and BCs are abundant in superficial layer 2, but only BCs are present in deeper laminar locations. This distinctive laminar distribution was observed by postnatal day 12 (P12), when we first identified ChCs by the presence of axon cartridges. Electrophysiology analysis of excitatory synapse development, starting at P12, showed that excitatory drive remains low throughout development in ChCs, but increases rapidly before puberty in BCs, with an earlier time course in deeper-layer BCs (bottom panel). Consistent with a role of excitatory synaptic drive in the maturation of PV+ neuron firing properties, the fast-spiking phenotype showed different maturation trajectories between ChCs and BCs, and between superficial versus deep-layer BCs. ChC and BC maturation was nearly completed, via different trajectories, before the onset of puberty. These findings suggest that ChC and BC maturation may contribute differentially to the emergence of cognitive function, primarily during prepubertal development.
Miyamae T, Chen K, Lewis DA, Gonzalez-Burgos G. Distinct Physiological Maturation of Parvalbumin-Positive Neuron Subtypes in Mouse Prefrontal Cortex. J Neurosci. 2017 May 10;37(19):4883-4902. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3325-16.2017. Epub 2017 Apr 13. PMID: 28408413, PMCID: PMC5426180

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David A. Lewis, M.D. | Department of Psychiatry | University of Pittsburgh
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