Supralinear dendritic integration in murine dendrite-targeting interneurons

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Non-linear summation of synaptic inputs to the dendrites of pyramidal neurons has been proposed to increase the computation capacity of neurons through coincidence detection, signal amplification, and additional logic operations such as XOR. Supralinear dendritic integration has been documented extensively in principal neurons, mediated by several voltage-dependent conductances. It has also been reported in parvalbumin-positive hippocampal basket cells, in dendrites innervated by feedback excitatory synapses. Whether other interneurons, which support feed-forward or feedback inhibition of principal neuron dendrites, also exhibit local non-linear integration of synaptic excitation is not known. Here we use patch-clamp electrophysiology, and 2-photon calcium imaging and glutamate uncaging, to show that supralinear dendritic integration of near-synchronous spatially clustered glutamate-receptor mediated depolarization occurs in NDNF-positive neurogliaform cells and oriens-lacunosum moleculare interneurons in the mouse hippocampus. Supralinear summation was detected via recordings of somatic depolarizations elicited by uncaging of glutamate on dendritic fragments, and, in neurogliaform cells, by concurrent imaging of dendritic calcium transients. Supralinearity was abolished by blocking NMDA receptors (NMDARs) but resisted blockade of voltage-gated sodium channels. Blocking L-type calcium channels abolished supralinear calcium signalling but only had a minor effect on voltage supralinearity. Dendritic boosting of spatially clustered synaptic signals argues for previously unappreciated computational complexity in dendrite- projecting inhibitory cells of the hippocampus.

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