Principles of GABAergic signaling in developing cortical network dynamics03/30/2022
Principles of GABAergic signaling in developing cortical network dynamics
Knut Kirmse and Chuanqiang Zhang
Cell Reports 38, 2022
GABAergic signaling provides inhibitory stabilization and spatiotemporally coordinates the firing of recurrently connected excitatory neurons in mature cortical circuits. Inhibition thus enables self-generated neuronal activitypatterns that underlie various aspects of sensation and cognition. In this review, we aim to provide a conceptual framework describing how and when GABA-releasing interneurons acquire their network functions during development. Focusing on the developing visual neocortex and hippocampus in mice and rats in vivo, we hypothesize that at the onset of patterned activity, glutamatergic neurons are stable by themselves and inhibitory stabilization is not yet functional. We review important milestones in the development of GABAergic signaling and illustrate how the cell-type-specific strengthening of synaptic inhibition toward eye opening shapes cortical network dynamics and allows the developing cortex to progressively disengage from extra-cortical synaptic drive. We translate this framework to human cortical development and discuss clinical implications for the treatment of neonatal seizures.