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Reduced inhibition in depression impairs stimulus processing in human cortical microcircuits

By Heng Kang Yao, Alexandre Guet-McCreight, Frank Mazza, Homeira Moradi Chameh, Thomas Damien Prevot, John Griffiths, Shreejoy J Tripathy, Taufik A Valiante, Etienne Sibille, Etay Hay

Posted 18 Feb 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.02.17.431698

Cortical processing depends on finely-tuned excitatory and inhibitory connections in neuronal microcircuits. Reduced inhibition by somatostatin-expressing interneurons is a key component of altered inhibition associated with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (depression), which is implicated in cognitive deficits and rumination, but the link remains to be better established mechanistically in humans. Here, we tested the impact of reduced somatostatin interneuron mediated inhibition on cortical processing in human neuronal microcircuits using a data-driven computational approach. We integrated human cellular, circuit and gene-expression data to generate detailed models of human cortical microcircuits in health and depression. We simulated microcircuit baseline and response activity and found reduced signal-to-noise ratio and increased false/failed detection of stimuli due to a higher baseline activity in depression. Our results thus applied novel models of human cortical microcircuits to demonstrate mechanistically how reduced inhibition impairs cortical processing in depression, providing quantitative links between altered inhibition and cognitive deficits.

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