This computational study integrates anatomical and physiological data to assess the functional role of the lateral excitatory connections between layer 2/3 (L2/3) pyramidal cells (PCs) in shaping their response during early stages of intracortical processing of a whisker deflection (WD). Based on in vivo and in vitro recordings, and 3D reconstructions of connected pairs of L2/3 PCs, our model predicts that: 1) AMPAR and NMDAR conductances/synapse are 0.52 ± 0.24 and 0.40 ± 0.34 nS, respectively; 2) following WD, connection between L2/3 PCs induces a composite EPSPs of 7.6 ± 1.7 mV, well below the threshold for action potential (AP) initiation; 3) together with the excitatory feedforward L4-to-L2/3 connection, WD evoked a composite EPSP of 16.3 ± 3.5 mV and a probability of 0.01 to generate an AP. When considering the variability in L4 spiny neurons responsiveness, it increased to 17.8 ± 11.2 mV; this 3-fold increase in the SD yielded AP probability of 0.35; 4) the interaction between L4-to-L2/3 and L2/3-to-L2/3 inputs is highly nonlinear; 5) L2/3 dendritic morphology significantly affects L2/3 PCs responsiveness. We conclude that early stages of intracortical signaling of WD are dominated by a combination of feedforward L4–L2/3 and L2/3–L2/3 lateral connections.
Contribution of Intracolumnar Layer 2/3-to-Layer 2/3 Excitatory Connections in Shaping the Response to Whisker Deflection in Rat Barrel Cortex
Authors: Leora Sarid; Dirk Feldmeyer; Albert Gidon; Bert Sakmann; Idan Segev,
Year of publication: 2013
Journal: Cereb Cortex. 25(4): 849–858.
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