The Cholinergic Interneuron of the Striatum

J. A. Goldberg, C. J. Wilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Cholinergic interneurons make up a tiny fraction of cells in the striatum, but yet are critical modulators of neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission, and synaptic plasticity within the striatal circuitry, primarily through activation of muscarinic receptors. Cholinergic interneurons are tonically active in primates and rodents, and display various rhythmic and irregular firing patterns that are generated autonomously. A pause in their ongoing activity represents the motivational value of external stimuli. Cholinergic interneurons receive extrinsic input from various brain regions, notably glutamatergic input from cortex and thalamus, dopaminergic input from the substantia nigra pars compacta, and GABAergic input primarily of striatal origin. Here, we briefly review what is known about the biophysics of these neurons and of their neuromodulatory role. In addition, we review recent findings that underscore the fast nicotinic action of cholinergic interneurons on striatal circuitry, especially when these neurons are activated synchronously.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Behavioral Neuroscience
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameHandbook of Behavioral Neuroscience
ISSN (Print)1569-7339

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Pacemaking
  • TAN
  • afterhyperpolarization
  • bursting
  • calcium dynamics
  • nicotinic and muscarinic receptor
  • optogenetics
  • rhythmicity
  • synaptic organization
  • synaptic plasticity
  • synchrony


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