JournalNeural Excitability, Synapses, and Glia

Neocortical Chandelier Cells Developmentally Shape Axonal Arbors through Reorganization but Establish Subcellular Synapse Specificity without Refinement


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Diverse types of cortical interneurons (INs) mediate various kinds of inhibitory control mechanisms to balance and shape network activity. Distinct IN subtypes develop uniquely organized axonal arbors that innervate different subcellular compartments of excitatory principal neurons (PNs), which critically contribute to determining their output properties. However, it remains poorly understood how they establish this peculiar axonal organization and synaptic connectivity during development. Here, taking advantage of genetic labeling of IN progenitors, we examined developmental processes of axonal arbors and synaptic connections formed by murine chandelier cells (ChCs), which innervate axon initial segments (AISs) of PNs and thus powerfully regulate their spike generation. Our quantitative analysis by light microscopy revealed that ChCs overgrow and subsequently refine axonal branches as well as varicosities. Interestingly, we found that although a significant number of axonal varicosities are formed off AISs in addition to on AISs, presynaptic markers are predominantly colocalized with those on AISs throughout development. Immunoelectron microscopic (IEM) analysis also demonstrated that only varicosities apposed to AISs contain presynaptic profiles. These results suggest that subcellular synapse specificity of ChCs is genetically predetermined while axonal geometry is shaped through remodeling. Molecular cues localized at AISs may regulate target recognition and synapse formation by ChCs.


Steinecke, A., Hozhabri, E., Tapanes, S., Ishino, Y., Zeng, H., Kamasawa, N., and Taniguchi, H. (2017). Neocortical Chandelier Cells Developmentally Shape Axonal Arbors through Reorganization but Establish Subcellular Synapse Specificity without Refinement. eNeuro 4, ENEURO.0057-17.2017.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/ENEURO.0057-17.2017

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