Are inhibitory synaptic conductances on thalamic relay neurons inhomogeneous? Are synapses from individual afferents clustered?

Mike Neubig and Alain Destexhe

Neurocomputing 32-33: 213-218, 2000.

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Standard and dynamic current clamps were used to emulate dendritic GABA-Aergic postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in a reconstructed thalamic relay neuron. The variability of somatically recorded single events was an order of magnitude smaller than reported in experimental work, suggesting that experimentally observed variability of miniature IPSCs reflects variable synaptic strength rather than filtering. Additionally, to evoke physiologic unitary-IPSCs at 0.8 probability-of-release, it was necessary to partially cluster synapses. This induced nonlinear summation-bringing unitary amplitudes down to the observed range. We conclude that synaptic strength is inhomogeneous and that inhibitory afferents might form synapses in clusters.
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