Perisomatic inhibition originates from three types of GABAergic interneurons in cortical structures, including parvalbumin-containing fast-spiking basket cells (FSBCs) and axo-axonic cells (AACs), as well as cholecystokinin-expressing regular-spiking basket cells (RSBCs). These interneurons may have significant impact in various cognitive processes, and are subjects of cholinergic modulation. However, it is largely unknown how cholinergic receptor activation modulates the function of perisomatic inhibitory cells. Therefore, we performed paired recordings from anatomically identified perisomatic interneurons and pyramidal cells in the CA3 region of the mouse hippocampus. We determined the basic properties of unitary inhibitory postsynaptic currents (uIPSCs) and found that they differed among cell types, e.g. GABA released from axon endings of AACs evoked uIPSCs with the largest amplitude and with the longest decay measured at room temperature. RSBCs could also release GABA asynchronously, the magnitude of the release increasing with the discharge frequency of the presynaptic interneuron. Cholinergic receptor activation by carbachol significantly decreased the uIPSC amplitude in all three types of cell pairs, but to different extents. M2-type muscarinic receptors were responsible for the reduction in uIPSC amplitudes in FSBC- and AAC-pyramidal cell pairs, while an antagonist of CB1 cannabinoid receptors recovered the suppression in RSBC-pyramidal cell pairs. In addition, carbachol suppressed or even eliminated the short-term depression of uIPSCs in FSBC- and AAC-pyramidal cell pairs in a frequency-dependent manner. These findings suggest that not only are the basic synaptic properties of perisomatic inhibitory cells distinct, but acetylcholine can differentially control the impact of perisomatic inhibition from different sources.
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