Correlated activity of cortical neurons underlies cognitive processes. Networks of several distinct classes of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic interneurons are capable of synchronizing cortical neurons at behaviourally relevant frequencies. Here we show that perisomatic and dendritic GABAergic inputs provided by two classes of GABAergic cells, fast spiking and bitufted interneurons, respectively, entrain the timing of postsynaptic spikes differentially in both pyramidal cells and interneurons at beta and gamma frequencies. Entrainment of pyramidal as well as regular spiking non-pyramidal cells was input site and inhibitory postsynaptic potential frequency dependent. Gamma frequency input from fast spiking cells entrained pyramidal cells on the positive phase of an intrinsic cellular theta oscillation, whereas input from bitufted cells was most effective in gamma frequency entrainment on the negative phase of the theta oscillation. The discharge of regular spiking interneurons was phased at gamma frequency by dendritic input from bitufted cells, but not by perisomatic input from fast spiking cells. Action potentials in fast spiking GABAergic neurons were phased at gamma frequency by both other fast spiking and bitufted cells, regardless of whether the presynaptic GABAergic input was at gamma or beta frequency. The interaction of cell type-specific intrinsic properties and location-selective GABAergic inputs could result in a spatio-temporally regulated synchronization and gating of cortical spike propagation in the network.
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