Transcriptomic and Morphophysiological Evidence for a Specialized Human Cortical Gabaergic Cell Type

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In this project, we’ve identified convergent evidence from transcriptomics, morphology and physiology for a specialized GABAergic neuron subtype in human cortex. Using unbiased single nucleus RNA sequencing, we identify ten GABAergic interneuron subtypes with combinatorial gene signatures in human cortical layer 1 and characterize a novel group of human interneurons with anatomical features never described in rodents having large, “rosehip”-like axonal boutons and compact arborization.

These rosehip cells show an immunohistochemical profile (GAD1/CCK-positive, CNR1/SST/CALB2/PVALB-negative) matching a single transcriptomically-defined cell type whose molecular signature is not seen in mouse cortex. Rosehip cells make homotypic gap junctions, predominantly target apical dendritic shafts of layer 3 pyramidal neurons and inhibit backpropagating pyramidal action potentials in microdomains of the dendritic tuft. These cells are therefore positioned for potent local control of distal dendritic computation in cortical pyramidal neurons.

This work is by the Allen Institute for Brain Science.