Research ArticleNEUROSCIENCE

Cell type–differential modulation of prefrontal cortical GABAergic interneurons on low gamma rhythm and social interaction

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Science Advances  22 Jul 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 30, eaay4073
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay4073


Prefrontal GABAergic interneurons (INs) are crucial for social behavior by maintaining excitation/inhibition balance. However, the underlying neuronal correlates and network computations are poorly understood. We identified distinct firing patterns of prefrontal parvalbumin (PV) INs and somatostatin (SST) INs upon social interaction. Moreover, social interaction closely correlated with elevated gamma rhythms particularly at low gamma band (20 to 50 Hz). Pharmacogenetic inhibition of PV INs, instead of SST INs, reduced low gamma power and impaired sociability. Optogenetic synchronization of either PV INs or SST INs at low gamma frequency improved sociability, whereas high gamma frequency or random frequency stimulation had no effect. These results reveal a functional differentiation among IN subtypes and suggest the importance of low gamma rhythms in social interaction behavior. Furthermore, our findings underscore previously unrecognized potential of SST INs as therapeutic targets for social impairments commonly observed in major neuropsychiatric disorders.

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