Axo-axonic interneurons, innervating exclusively axon initial segments, and parvalbumin-expressing basket interneurons, targeting somata, dendrites, and spines of pyramidal cells, have been proposed to control neuronal activity in prefrontal circuits. We recorded the spike-timing of identified neurons in the prelimbic cortex of anesthetized rats, and show that axo-axonic cells increase their firing during tail pinch-induced brain state-activation. In addition, axo-axonic cells differ from other GABAergic parvalbumin-expressing cells in their spike timing during DOWN- to UP-state transitions of slow oscillations and in their coupling to gamma and spindle oscillations. The distinct firing dynamics and synaptic targets of axo-axonic and other parvalbumin-expressing cells provide differential contributions to the temporal organization of prefrontal networks.
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