Distinct balance of excitation and inhibition in an interareal feedforward and feedback circuit of mouse visual cortex

Weiguo Yang, Yarimar Carrasquillo, Bryan M. Hooks, Jeanne M. Nerbonne, Andreas Burkhalter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Mouse visual cortex is subdivided into multiple distinct, hierarchically organized areas that are interconnected through feedforward (FF) and feedback (FB) pathways. The principal synaptic targets of FF and FB axons that reciprocally interconnect primary visual cortex (V1) with the higher lateromedial extrastriate area (LM) are pyramidal cells (Pyr) and parvalbumin (PV)-expressing GABAergic interneurons. Recordings in slices of mouse visual cortex have shown that layer 2/3 Pyr cells receive excitatory monosynaptic FF and FB inputs, which are opposed by disynaptic inhibition. Most notably, inhibition is stronger in the FF than FB pathway, suggesting pathway-specific organization of feedforward inhibition (FFI). To explore the hypothesis that this difference is due to diverse pathway-specific strengths of the inputs to PV neurons we have performed subcellular Channelrhodopsin-2-assisted circuit mapping in slices of mouse visual cortex. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were obtained from retrobead-labeled FFV1→LM-and FBLM→V1-projecting Pyr cells, as well as from tdTomato-expressing PV neurons. The results show that the FFV1→LM pathway provides on average 3.7-fold stronger depolarizing input to layer 2/3 inhibitory PV neurons than to neighboring excitatory Pyr cells. In the FBLM→V1 pathway, depolarizing inputs to layer 2/3 PV neurons and Pyr cells were balanced. Balanced inputs were also found in the FFV1→LM pathway to layer 5 PV neurons and Pyr cells, whereas FBLM→V1 inputs to layer 5 were biased toward Pyr cells. The findings indicate that FFI in FFV1→LM and FBLM→V1 circuits are organized in a pathway- and lamina-specific fashion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17373-17384
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number44
StatePublished - 2013


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