Hippocampal GABAA receptor-mediated synaptic function is highly sensitive to ethanol (EtOH), and behaviorally relevant concentrations increase inhibitory postsynaptic currents in hippocampal CA1 and CA3 pyramidal cells regulated by EtOH-induced spontaneous firing of interneurons. Yan et al. compared interneuron firing in both the stratum lacunosum moleculare (SLM) and the stratum oriens (SO) in adolescent and adult rats. Based on their previous work in the SLM, EtOH promotes firing on SLM interneurons more potently in adolescent than adult interneurons; however, in the present study, EtOH promotes greater firing in adult interneurons in the SO, thus implying developmental regulation of sensitivity to EtOH. The developmental mediation of those effects is distinct among different populations of interneurons in area CA1 of the hippocampus, suggesting that SO and SLM interneurons mature differentially in some essential way that regulates EtOH sensitivity. These studies suggest that more intensive studies on interneurons in the context of adolescent EtOH sensitivity are needed. As classification of interneurons has identified four major groups and 12 distinct cell types, it will be challenging to identify the interneuron population(s) responsible for this differential sensitivity to EtOH.
See article at J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2010, 335:51–60.
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