Extensive Structural Remodeling of the Axonal Arbors of Parvalbumin Basket Cells during Development in Mouse Neocortex.
The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Parvalbumin-containing (PV+) basket cells are specialized cortical interneurons that regulate the activity of local neuronal circuits with high temporal precision and reliability. To understand how the PV+ interneuron connectivity underlying these functional properties is established during development, we used array tomography to map pairs of synaptically connected PV+ interneurons and postsynaptic neurons from the neocortex of mice of both sexes. We focused on the axon-myelin unit of the PV+ interneuron and quantified the number of synapses onto the postsynaptic neuron, length of connecting axonal paths, and their myelination at different time points between 2weeks and 7months of age. We find that myelination of the proximal axon occurs very rapidly during the third and, to a lesser extent, fourth postnatal weeks. The number of synaptic contacts made by the PV+ interneuron on its postsynaptic partner meanwhile is significantly reduced to about one-third by the end of the first postnatal month. The number of autapses, the synapses that PV+ interneurons form on themselves, however, remains constant throughout the examined period. Axon reorganizations continue beyond postnatal month 2, with the postsynaptic targets of PV+ interneurons gradually shifting to more proximal locations, and the length of axonal paths and their myelin becoming conspicuously uniform per connection. These continued microcircuit refinements likely provide the structural substrate for the robust inhibitory effects and fine temporal precision of adult PV+ basket cells.Significance Statement:The axon of adult parvalbumin-containing (PV+) interneurons is highly specialized for fast and reliable neurotransmission. It is myelinated and forms synapses mostly onto the cell bodies and proximal dendrites of postsynaptic neurons for maximal impact. In this study, we follow the development of the PV+ interneuron axon, its myelination and synapse formation, revealing a rapid sequence of axonal reorganization, myelination of the PV+ interneuron proximal axon, and pruning of almost two-thirds of the synapses in an individual connection. This is followed by a prolonged period of axon refinement and additional myelination leading to a remarkable precision of connections in the adult mouse cortex, consistent with the temporal precision and fidelity of PV+ interneuron action.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0871-21.2021
View details for PubMedID 34583957
Conduction Velocity Along the Local Axons of Parvalbumin Interneurons Correlates With the Degree of Axonal Myelination.
Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991)
Parvalbumin-containing (PV+) basket cells in mammalian neocortex are fast-spiking interneurons that regulate the activity of local neuronal circuits in multiple ways. Even though PV+ basket cells are locally projecting interneurons, their axons are myelinated. Can this myelination contribute in any significant way to the speed of action potential propagation along such short axons? We used dual whole cell recordings of synaptically connected PV+ interneurons and their postsynaptic target in acutely prepared neocortical slices from adult mice to measure the amplitude and latency of single presynaptic action potential-evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents. These same neurons were then imaged with immunofluorescent array tomography, the synapses between them identified and a precise map of the connections was generated, with the exact axonal length and extent of myelin coverage. Our results support that myelination of PV+ basket cells significantly increases conduction velocity, and does so to a degree that can be physiologically relevant.
View details for DOI 10.1093/cercor/bhab018
View details for PubMedID 33704414
Multifaceted Changes in Synaptic Composition and Astrocytic Involvement in a Mouse Model of Fragile X Syndrome.
2019; 9 (1): 13855
Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), a common inheritable form of intellectual disability, is known to alter neocortical circuits. However, its impact on the diverse synapse types comprising these circuits, or on the involvement of astrocytes, is not well known. We used immunofluorescent array tomography to quantify different synaptic populations and their association with astrocytes in layers 1 through 4 of the adult somatosensory cortex of a FXS mouse model, the FMR1 knockout mouse. The collected multi-channel data contained approximately 1.6 million synapses which were analyzed using a probabilistic synapse detector. Our study reveals complex, synapse-type and layer specific changes in the neocortical circuitry of FMR1 knockout mice. We report an increase of small glutamatergic VGluT1 synapses in layer 4 accompanied by a decrease in large VGluT1 synapses in layers 1 and 4. VGluT2 synapses show a rather consistent decrease in density in layers 1 and 2/3. In all layers, we observe the loss of large inhibitory synapses. Lastly, astrocytic association of excitatory synapses decreases. The ability to dissect the circuit deficits by synapse type and astrocytic involvement will be crucial for understanding how these changes affect circuit function, and ultimately defining targets for therapeutic intervention.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-019-50240-x
View details for PubMedID 31554841