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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
Insight
  • 131 Downloads

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...

Notes

Acknowledgements

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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