Structured connectivity in cerebellar inhibitory networks.
Rieubland S, Roth A, Häusser M.
Defining the rules governing synaptic connectivity is key to formulating theories of neural circuit function. Interneurons can be connected by both electrical and chemical synapses, but the organization and interaction of these two complementary microcircuits is unknown. By recording from multiple molecular layer interneurons in the cerebellar cortex, we reveal specific, nonrandom connectivity patterns in both GABAergic chemical and electrical interneuron networks. Both networks contain clustered motifs and show specific overlap between them. Chemical connections exhibit a preference for transitive patterns, such as feedforward triplet motifs. This structured connectivity is supported by a characteristic spatial organization: transitivity of chemical connectivity is directed vertically in the sagittal plane, and electrical synapses appear strictly confined to the sagittal plane. The specific, highly structured connectivity rules suggest that these motifs are essential for the function of the cerebellar network.