Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Proximity of excitatory and inhibitory axon terminals adjacent to pyramidal cell bodies provides a putative basis for nonsynaptic interactions


Although pyramidal cells are the main excitatory neurons in the cerebral cortex, it has recently been reported that they can evoke inhibitory postsynaptic currents in neighboring pyramidal neurons. These inhibitory effects were proposed to be mediated by putative axo-axonic excitatory synapses between the axon terminals of pyramidal cells and perisomatic inhibitory axon terminals [Ren M, Yoshimura Y, Takada N, Horibe S, Komatsu Y (2007) Science 316:758-761]. However, the existence of this type of axo-axonic synapse was not found using serial section electron microscopy. Instead, we observed that inhibitory axon terminals synapsing on pyramidal cell bodies were frequently apposed by terminals that established excitatory synapses with neighbouring dendrites. We propose that a spillover of glutamate from these excitatory synapses can activate the adjacent inhibitory axo-somatic terminals.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View