Interneuron-specific signaling evokes distinctive somatostatin-mediated responses in adult cortical astrocytes

Letizia Mariotti, Gabriele Losi, Annamaria Lia, Marcello Melone, Angela Chiavegato, Marta Gómez-Gonzalo, Michele Sessolo, Serena Bovetti, Angelo Forli, Micaela Zonta, Linda Maria Requie, Iacopo Marcon, Arianna Pugliese, Cécile Viollet, Bernhard Bettler, Tommaso Fellin, Fiorenzo Conti, Giorgio Carmignoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The signaling diversity of GABAergic interneurons to post-synaptic neurons is crucial to generate the functional heterogeneity that characterizes brain circuits. Whether this diversity applies to other brain cells, such as the glial cells astrocytes, remains unexplored. Using optogenetics and two-photon functional imaging in the adult mouse neocortex, we here reveal that parvalbumin-and somatostatin-expressing interneurons, two key interneuron classes in the brain, differentially signal to astrocytes inducing weak and robust GABAB receptor-mediated Ca2+ elevations, respectively. Furthermore, the astrocyte response depresses upon parvalbumin interneuron repetitive stimulations and potentiates upon somatostatin interneuron repetitive stimulations, revealing a distinguished astrocyte plasticity. Remarkably, the potentiated response crucially depends on the neuropeptide somatostatin, released by somatostatin interneurons, which activates somatostatin receptors at astrocytic processes. Our study unveils, in the living brain, a hitherto unidentified signaling specificity between interneuron subtypes and astrocytes opening a new perspective into the role of astrocytes as non-neuronal components of inhibitory circuits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number82
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Interneuron-specific signaling evokes distinctive somatostatin-mediated responses in adult cortical astrocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this