Transplanted interneurons have potential therapeutic value for treating a variety of neurological disorders, including epilepsy. Yet, a better understanding of how new interneurons integrate into native neural networks is needed to uncover the therapeutic mechanisms behind interneuron-based cell therapy. Seeking to clarify how transplanted interneurons integrate into the neural circuitry of the recipient brain, Scott Baraban and MacKenzie Howard, both from the University of California, San Francisco, measured excitatory synaptic inputs, intrinsic properties, and inhibitory synaptic outputs of fluorescently labeled interneurons derived from embryonic medial ganglionic eminence progenitor cells that had been transplanted into the brains of recipient mice. Listen as Editor-in-Chief Bill Yates (University of Pittsburgh), content expert Steven Roper (University of Florida), and author MacKenzie Howard discuss the background and intriguing aspects of this work as well as its translational goals.
Synaptic integration of transplanted interneuron progenitor cells into native cortical networks
MacKenzie Allen Howard, Scott C. Baraban
Journal of Neurophysiology, published online May 25, 2016. DOI: 10.1152/jn.00321.2016 .