Cell type- and subcellular position-dependent summation of unitary postsynaptic potentials in neocortical neurons.
Tamás G., Szabadics J., Somogyi P.
Theoretical studies predict that the modes of integration of coincident inputs depend on their location and timing. To test these models experimentally, we simultaneously recorded from three neocortical neurons in vitro and investigated the effect of the subcellular position of two convergent inputs on the response summation in the common postsynaptic cell. When scattered over the somatodendritic surface, combination of two coincident excitatory or inhibitory synaptic potentials summed linearly in layer 2/3 pyramidal cells, as well as in GABAergic interneurons. Slightly sublinear summation with connection specific kinetics was observed when convergent inputs targeted closely placed sites on the postsynaptic cell. The degree of linearity of summation also depended on the type of connection, the relative timing of inputs, and the activation state of I(h). The results suggest that, when few inputs are active, the majority of afferent permutations undergo linear integration, maintaining the importance of individual inputs. However, compartment- and connection-specific nonlinear interactions between synapses located close to each other could increase the computational power of individual neurons in a cell type-specific manner.