γ-Aminobutyric acid-containing basal forebrain neurons innervate inhibitory interneurons in the neocortex

T. Freund, Virginia Meskenaite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

195 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The basal forebrain-neocortex pathway -involved in higher cognitive processing, selective attention, and arousal - is considered one of the functionally most important ascending subcortical projections. The mechanism by which this relatively sparse subcortical pathway can control neuronal activity patterns in the entire cortical mantle is still unknown. The present study in the cat provides evidence that γ-aminobutyric acid-containing basal forebrain neurons participate in the neocortical projection and establish multiple synaptic connections with γ-aminobutyric acid-releasing interneurons containing somatostatin or parvalbumin. We propose that a mechanism by which the numerically small ascending pathways can exert a powerful global effect in the neocortex is by the selective innervation of γ-aminobutyric acid-releasing interneurons, which, in turn, control the activity of large populations of pyramidal cells through their extensive axon arborizations. Finally, these results demonstrate a direct anatomical link between two cell populations implicated in Alzheimer disease pathology: basal forebrain neurons and cortical somatostatin cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-742
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume89
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1992

Fingerprint

Aminobutyrates
Neocortex
Interneurons
Neurons
Parvalbumins
Somatostatin-Secreting Cells
Pyramidal Cells
Somatostatin
Arousal
Population
Axons
Alzheimer Disease
Cats
Pathology
Basal Forebrain

Keywords

  • Disinhibition
  • Nonpyramidal cells
  • Parvalbumin
  • Somatostatin
  • Subcortical control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

Cite this

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abstract = "The basal forebrain-neocortex pathway -involved in higher cognitive processing, selective attention, and arousal - is considered one of the functionally most important ascending subcortical projections. The mechanism by which this relatively sparse subcortical pathway can control neuronal activity patterns in the entire cortical mantle is still unknown. The present study in the cat provides evidence that γ-aminobutyric acid-containing basal forebrain neurons participate in the neocortical projection and establish multiple synaptic connections with γ-aminobutyric acid-releasing interneurons containing somatostatin or parvalbumin. We propose that a mechanism by which the numerically small ascending pathways can exert a powerful global effect in the neocortex is by the selective innervation of γ-aminobutyric acid-releasing interneurons, which, in turn, control the activity of large populations of pyramidal cells through their extensive axon arborizations. Finally, these results demonstrate a direct anatomical link between two cell populations implicated in Alzheimer disease pathology: basal forebrain neurons and cortical somatostatin cells.",
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AU - Meskenaite, Virginia

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N2 - The basal forebrain-neocortex pathway -involved in higher cognitive processing, selective attention, and arousal - is considered one of the functionally most important ascending subcortical projections. The mechanism by which this relatively sparse subcortical pathway can control neuronal activity patterns in the entire cortical mantle is still unknown. The present study in the cat provides evidence that γ-aminobutyric acid-containing basal forebrain neurons participate in the neocortical projection and establish multiple synaptic connections with γ-aminobutyric acid-releasing interneurons containing somatostatin or parvalbumin. We propose that a mechanism by which the numerically small ascending pathways can exert a powerful global effect in the neocortex is by the selective innervation of γ-aminobutyric acid-releasing interneurons, which, in turn, control the activity of large populations of pyramidal cells through their extensive axon arborizations. Finally, these results demonstrate a direct anatomical link between two cell populations implicated in Alzheimer disease pathology: basal forebrain neurons and cortical somatostatin cells.

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