Synchronous neuronal activity is a hallmark of the developing brain. In the mouse cerebral cortex, activity decorrelates during the second week of postnatal development, progressively acquiring the characteristic sparse pattern underlying the integration of sensory information. The maturation of inhibition seems critical for this process, but the interneurons involved in this crucial transition of network activity in the developing cortex remain unknown. Using in vivo longitudinal two-photon calcium imaging during the period that precedes the change from highly synchronous to decorrelated activity, we identify somatostatin-expressing (SST+) interneurons as critical modulators of this switch in mice. Modulation of the activity of SST+ cells accelerates or delays the decorrelation of cortical network activity, a process that involves regulating the maturation of parvalbumin-expressing (PV+) interneurons. SST+ cells critically link sensory inputs with local circuits, controlling the neural dynamics in the developing cortex while modulating the integration of other interneurons into nascent cortical circuits.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Apr 2024


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