The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is involved in sensory, cognitive, and executive functions. Studies of synaptic transmission and plasticity in the ACC provide an understanding of basic cellular and molecular mechanisms for brain functions. Previous anatomic studies suggest complex local interactions among neurons within the ACC. However, there is a lack of functional studies of such synaptic connections between ACC neurons. In the present study, we characterized the neuronal connections in the superficial layers (I-III) of the mouse ACC using dual whole-cell patch clamp recording technique. Four types of synaptic connections were observed, which are from a pyramidal neuron to a pyramidal neuron, from a pyramidal neuron to an interneuron, from an interneuron to a pyramidal neuron and from an interneuron to an interneuron. These connections exist among neurons in layer II/III or between neurons located layer I and II/III, respectively. Moreover, reciprocal connections exist in all four types of paired neurons. Our results provide the first key evidence of functional excitatory and inhibitory connections in the ACC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience