A variety of major developmental cortical malformations are closely associated with clinically intractable epilepsy. Pathophysiological aspects of one such disorder, human polymicrogyria, can be modeled by making neocortical freeze lesions (FL) in neonatal rodents, resulting in the formation of microgyri. Previous studies showed enhanced excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission and connectivity in cortical layer V pyramidal neurons in the paramicrogyral cortex. In young adult transgenic mice that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) specifically in parvalbumin positive fast-spiking (FS) interneurons, we used laser scanning photostimulation (LSPS) of caged glutamate to map excitatory and inhibitory synaptic connectivity onto FS interneurons in layer V of paramicrogyral cortex in control and FL groups. The proportion of uncaging sites from which excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) could be evoked (hotspot ratio) increased slightly but significantly in FS cells of the FL vs. control cortex, while the mean amplitude of LSPS-evoked EPSCs at hotspots did not change. In contrast, the hotspot ratio of inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) was significantly decreased in FS neurons of the FL cortex. These alterations in synaptic inputs onto FS interneurons may result in an enhanced inhibitory output. We conclude that alterations in synaptic connectivity to cortical layer V FS interneurons do not contribute to hyperexcitability of the FL model. Instead, the enhanced inhibitory output from these neurons may partially offset an earlier demonstrated increase in synaptic excitation of pyramidal cells and thereby maintain a relative balance between excitation and inhibition in the affected cortical circuitry.
- Caged glutamate
ASJC Scopus subject areas