Distinct determinants of sparse activation during granule cell maturation

Academic Article


  • Adult neurogenesis continually produces a small population of immature granule cells (GCs) within the dentate gyrus. The physiological properties of immature GCs distinguish them from the more numerous mature GCs and potentially enables distinct network functions. To test how the changing properties of developing GCs affect spiking behavior, we examined synaptic responses of mature and immature GCs in hippocampal slices from adult mice. Whereas synaptic inhibition restricted GC spiking at most stages of maturation, the relative influence of inhibition, excitatory synaptic drive, and intrinsic excitability shifted over the course of maturation. Mature GCs received profuse afferent innervation such that spiking was suppressed primarily by inhibition, whereas immature GC spiking was also limited by the strength of excitatory drive. Although the input resistance was a reliable indicator of maturation, it did not determine spiking probability at immature stages. Our results confirm the existence of a transient period during GC maturation when perforant path stimulation can generate a high probability of spiking, but also reveal that immature GC excitability is tempered by functional synaptic inhibition and reduced excitatory innervation, likely maintaining the sparse population activity observed in vivo. © 2013 the authors.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Dieni CV; Nietz AK; Panichi R; Wadiche JI; Overstreet-Wadiche L
  • Start Page

  • 19131
  • End Page

  • 19142
  • Volume

  • 33
  • Issue

  • 49