Layer 1 NDNF interneurons are specialized top-down master regulators of cortical circuits

Authors: Jan Hartung, Anna Schroeder, Rodrigo Alejandro Pérez Vázquez, Rogier B. Poorthuis, and Johannes J. Letzkus
Project/s: A07

Diverse types of inhibitory interneurons (INs) impart computational power and flexibility to neocortical circuits. Whereas markers for different IN types in cortical layers 2–6 (L2–L6) have been instrumental for gener ating a wealth of functional insights, only the recent identification of a selective marker (neuron-derived neurotrophic factor [NDNF]) has opened comparable opportunities for INs in L1 (L1INs). However, at present we know very little about the connectivity of NDNF L1INs with other IN types, their input-output conversion, and the existence of potential NDNF L1IN subtypes. Here, we report pervasive inhibition of L2/3 INs (including parvalbumin INs and vasoactive intestinal peptide INs) by NDNF L1INs. Intersectional genetics revealed similar physiology and connectivity in the NDNF L1IN subpopulation co-expressing neuropeptide Y. Finally, NDNF L1INs prominently and selectively engage in persistent firing, a physiological hallmark disconnecting their output from the current input. Collectively, our work therefore identifies NDNF L1INs as specialized master regulators of superficial neocortex according to their pervasive top-down afferents.

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Cell Reports
| Published: 2024
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