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Neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) provide inhibitory input to thalamic relay cells and generate synchronized activity during sleep and seizures. It is widely assumed that TRN cells interact only via chemical synaptic connections. However, we show that many neighboring pairs of TRN neurons in rats and mice are electrically coupled. In(More)
The inhibitory neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) contribute to the generation of widespread oscillations in the thalamocortical system. Some TRN neurons are interconnected by electrical synapses, and here we tested the possibility that electrical synapses mediate rhythmic synchrony in juvenile rats. Both the incidence and strength of(More)
Sensory information originating in individual whisker follicles ascends through focused projections to the brainstem, then to the ventral posteromedial nucleus (VPM) of the thalamus, and finally into barrels of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1). By contrast, the posteromedial complex (PoM) of the thalamus receives more diffuse sensory projections from(More)
Use-dependent forms of synaptic plasticity have been extensively characterized at chemical synapses, but a relationship between natural activity and strength at electrical synapses remains elusive. The thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN), a brain area rich in gap-junctional (electrical) synapses, regulates cortical attention to the sensory surround and(More)
Electrical synapses are common between inhibitory neurons in the mammalian thalamus and neocortex. Synaptic modulation, which allows flexibility of communication between neurons, has been studied extensively at chemical synapses, but modulation of electrical synapses in the mammalian brain has barely been examined. We found that the activation of(More)
THALAMIC NEURONS FLUCTUATE BETWEEN TWO STATES: a hyperpolarized state associated with burst firing and sleep spindles, and a depolarized state associated with tonic firing and rapid, reliable information transmission between the sensory periphery and cortex. The thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) plays a central role in thalamocortical processing by providing(More)
Electrical synapses are composed of gap junction channels that interconnect neurons. They occur throughout the mammalian brain, although this has been appreciated only recently. Gap junction channels, which are made of proteins called connexins, allow ionic current and small organic molecules to pass directly between cells, usually with symmetrical ease.(More)
Somatostatin-expressing (SS) cells are inhibitory interneurons critical to the regulation of excitability in the cerebral cortex. It has been suggested in several animal models of epilepsy that the activity of these neurons reduces the occurrence and strength of epileptiform activity. The physiological properties of SS cells further support these(More)
Compared with the extensive characterization of chemical synaptic plasticity, electrical synaptic plasticity remains poorly understood. Electrical synapses are strong and prevalent among the GABAergic neurons of the rodent thalamic reticular nucleus. Using paired whole-cell recordings, we show that activation of Group I metabotropic glutamate receptors(More)