New dimensions of interneuronal specialization unmasked by principal cell heterogeneity

Esther Krook-Magnuson, Csaba Varga, Sang Hun Lee, Ivan Soltesz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Although the diversity of neocortical and hippocampal GABAergic interneurons is recognized in terms of their anatomical, molecular and functional properties, principal cells are usually assumed to constitute homogenous populations. However, even within a single layer, subpopulations of principal cells can often be differentiated by their distinct long-range projection targets. Such subpopulations of principal cells can have different local connection properties and excitatory inputs, forming subnetworks that may serve as separate information-processing channels. Interestingly, as reviewed here, recent evidence has revealed specific instances where interneuron cell types selectively innervated distinct subpopulations of principal cells, targeting only those with particular long-distance projection targets. This organization represents a novel form of interneuron specialization, providing interneurons with the potential to selectively regulate specific information-processing streams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-184
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the George E. Hewitt Foundation for Medical Research (E.K-M.), the US National Institutes of Health grants NS35915, NS074702, and NS74432 (I.S.), and the Epilepsy Foundation (C.V.), including the generous support of the Eric W. Lothman Training Fellowship (S-H.L.).


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