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The assembly of functional neuronal circuits requires appropriate numbers of distinct classes of neurons, but the mechanisms through which their relative proportions are established remain poorly defined. Investigating the mouse striatum, we found that the two most prominent subtypes of striatal interneurons, parvalbumin-expressing (PV +) GABAergic and cholinergic (ChAT +) interneurons, undergo extensive programmed cell death between the first and second postnatal weeks. Remarkably, the survival of PV + and ChAT + interneurons is regulated by distinct mechanisms mediated by their specific afferent connectivity. While long-range cortical inputs control PV + interneuron survival, ChAT + interneuron survival is regulated by local input from the medium spiny neurons. Our results identify input-specific circuit mechanisms that operate during the period of programmed cell death to establish the final number of interneurons in nascent striatal networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2118430119
Pages (from-to)e2118430119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2022


  • cell death
  • cortex
  • cortico-striatal projections
  • interneurons
  • striatum


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