Functional Self-Excitatory Autapses (Auto-synapses) on Neocortical Pyramidal Cells
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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) . 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 . However, accumulating evidence indicates that autapses are actually abundant in certain types of neurons . 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 . 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.