Neuroscience Bulletin

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 1106–1109 | Cite as

Functional Self-Excitatory Autapses (Auto-synapses) on Neocortical Pyramidal Cells

  • Wei Ke
  • Quansheng He
  • Yousheng ShuEmail author

Synapses are essential structures in the nervous system and normally form between two cells. However, some occur in a single neuron between the axon and its own dendrites and soma. These special synapses are known as autapses (or auto-synapses or self-synapses) [1]. Previous studies have shown that autapses were much more abundant in cultured neurons [2, 3, 4] than in the intact brain, so there was suspicion that autapses in vivo may be wiring errors or redundant structures [5]. However, accumulating evidence indicates that autapses are actually abundant in certain types of neurons [6]. They selectively form on fast-spiking GABAergic interneurons but not on low-threshold spiking interneurons [6, 7]. Recently, we showed that autapses selectively occur on subcortically-projecting layer V pyramidal cells (PCs); they produced giant AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid)-only postsynaptic responses and promoted burst firing and coincidence detection [8]. Therefore, PC...



This insight was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31430038, 31630029, and 31661143037).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, CAS 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain ResearchBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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