Role of inhibitory cortical interneurons in sensory information processing

Dr. Julien Guy and his colleague Martin Möck from research group of Prof. Jochen Staiger at the Institute of Neuroanatomy at the University of Göttingen were awarded the Quarterly Publication Award (QPA) IV/2023 of the Anatomical Society for their investigations of the role of inhibitory cortical interneurons in sensory information processing:

The aim of the study published in the internationally renowned journal Cell Reports was to investigate whether inhibitory GABAergic interneurons in the neocortex make a specific contribution to sensory information processing, or whether this is a characteristic of excitatory projection neurons. Using whole-cell recordings from pyramidal cells, parvalbumin-, VIP- or somatostatin-expressing interneurons in the living brain of transgenic mice, in combination with directional vibration stimulation, the authors demonstrated that VIP neurons in particular exhibit a directional dependence in their activation after vibration stimulation similar to that of pyramidal cells. These findings suggest that different GABAergic interneurons make different contributions to sensory information processing - and that this is not an exclusive performance of the pyramidal cells, the extent of which is modulated by inhibition.

Guy J, Möck M, Staiger JF. Direction selectivity of inhibitory interneurons in mouse barrel cortex differs between interneuron subtypes. Cell Rep. 2023 Jan 31;42(1):111936. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.111936. Epub 2022 Dec 31. PMID: 36640357.