Transgenic cross-referencing of inhibitory and excitatory interneuron populations to dissect neuronal heterogeneity in the dorsal horn

Browne, T. J., Gradwell, M. A., Iredale, J. A., Madden, J. F., Hughes, D. I. , Callister, R. J., Dayas, C. V. and Graham, B. A. (2020) Transgenic cross-referencing of inhibitory and excitatory interneuron populations to dissect neuronal heterogeneity in the dorsal horn. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 13, 32. (doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2020.00032) (PMID:32362812) (PMCID:PMC7180513)

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Abstract

The superficial dorsal horn (SDH, LI-II) of the spinal cord receives and processes multimodal sensory information from skin, muscle, joints and viscera then relays it to the brain. Neurons within the SDH fall into two broad categories, projection neurons and interneurons. The later can be further subdivided into excitatory and inhibitory types. Traditionally, interneurons within the SDH have been divided into overlapping groups according to their neurochemical, morphological and electrophysiological properties. Recent clustering analyses, based on molecular transcript profiles of cells and nuclei, have predicted many more functional groups of interneuron than expected using traditional approaches. In this study, we used electrophysiological and morphological data obtained from genetically-identified excitatory (vGLUT2) and inhibitory (vGAT) interneurons in transgenic mice to cluster them into groups sharing common characteristics, and subsequently determined how many clusters will be assigned by combinations of these properties. Consistent with previous reports, we show differences exist between excitatory and inhibitory interneurons in terms of their excitability, nature of ongoing excitatory drive, action potential properties, sub-threshold current kinetics, and morphology. The resulting clusters based on statistical and unbiased assortment of these data fell well short of the numbers of molecularly predicted clusters. There was no clear characteristic that in isolation defined a population, rather multiple variables were needed to predict cluster membership. Importantly though, our analysis highlighted the appropriateness of using transgenic lines as tools to functionally subdivide both excitatory and inhibitory interneuron populations.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hughes, Dr David I
Authors: Browne, T. J., Gradwell, M. A., Iredale, J. A., Madden, J. F., Hughes, D. I., Callister, R. J., Dayas, C. V., and Graham, B. A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
Publisher:Frontiers Media
ISSN:1662-5099
ISSN (Online):1662-5099
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience 13:32
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
165961Modulating cutaneous afferent input: Identifying a source of presynaptic (axo-axonic) inputs in the mouse spinal dorsal hornDavid I HughesBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/J000620/1NP - Centre for Neuroscience
174050Determining the role of calretinin-RorB spinal interneurons in modulating mechanical painDavid I HughesBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/P007996/1Institute of Neuroscience & Psychology