NDNF interneurons in layer 1 gain-modulate whole cortical columns according to an animal's behavioral state

Katayun Cohen-Kashi Malina, Emmanouil Tsivourakis, Dahlia Kushinsky, Daniella Apelblat, Stav Shtiglitz, Eran Zohar, Michael Sokoletsky, Gen ichi Tasaka, Adi Mizrahi, Ilan Lampl, Ivo Spiegel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Processing of sensory information in neural circuits is modulated by an animal's behavioral state, but the underlying cellular mechanisms are not well understood. Focusing on the mouse visual cortex, here we analyze the role of GABAergic interneurons that are located in layer 1 and express Ndnf (L1 NDNF INs) in the state-dependent control over sensory processing. We find that the ongoing and sensory-evoked activity of L1 NDNF INs is strongly enhanced when an animal is aroused and that L1 NDNF INs gain-modulate local excitatory neurons selectively during high-arousal states by inhibiting their apical dendrites while disinhibiting their somata via Parvalbumin-expressing interneurons. Because active NDNF INs are evenly spread in L1 and can affect excitatory neurons across all cortical layers, this indicates that the state-dependent activation of L1 NDNF INs and the subsequent shift of inhibition in excitatory neurons toward their apical dendrites gain-modulate sensory processing in whole cortical columns.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2150-2164.e5
Issue number13
StatePublished - 7 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


  • L1 NDNF interneurons
  • brain state
  • cortex
  • dendritic inhibition
  • gain modulation
  • layer 1
  • somatic disinhibition
  • stimulus selectivity
  • top-down processing
  • visual processing


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