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Segregation of Axonal and Somatic Activity During Fast Network Oscillations

Science  15 Jun 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6087, pp. 1458-1461
DOI: 10.1126/science.1222017

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Abstract

In central neurons, information flows from the dendritic surface toward the axon terminals. We found that during in vitro gamma oscillations, ectopic action potentials are generated at high frequency in the distal axon of pyramidal cells (PCs) but do not invade the soma. At the same time, axo-axonic cells (AACs) discharged at a high rate and tonically inhibited the axon initial segment, which can be instrumental in preventing ectopic action potential back-propagation. We found that activation of a single AAC substantially lowered soma invasion by antidromic action potential in postsynaptic PCs. In contrast, activation of soma-inhibiting basket cells had no significant impact. These results demonstrate that AACs can separate axonal from somatic activity and maintain the functional polarization of cortical PCs during network oscillations.

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