Evidence for two functionally distinct subpopulations of neurons within the rat striatum.
Inhibition in the neostriatum was investigated in rat in vitro slice preparation using intracellular recording and labeling technique. The initial response recorded following local stimulation is a monosynaptically activated EPSP. In 17% of the neurons tested, IPSPs were observed following EPSPs evoked by local stimulation. In paired shock experiments reduction of test EPSP amplitude or action potentials occurred over interstimulus intervals (ISIs) of 3-38 msec. In some neurons, a pulse injection of depolarizing current was used to trigger an action potential which was in a paired shock, used to condition a test monosynaptically induced EPSP. Test EPSPs were shunted over ISIs less than 45 msec. Paired shock performed on the slices perfused with the medium containing GABA antagonists (e.g., bicuculline methiodide, picrotoxin, or penicillin-G) resulted invariably in potentiation of test EPSPs. Inhibition in the neostriatum in vitro is demonstrated as reduction in test amplitude in paired shock tests, by the presence of IPSPs and by the shunting of EPSPs conditioned by an action potential triggered by direct depolarization. Neurons exhibiting these forms of inhibition were intracellularly labelled with HRP and identified as medium spiny neurons. These results indicate that striatal GABAergic medium spiny neurons which are known to have an extensive axon collateral plexus play in a role in a short lasting inhibition observed in the striatum.