The nervous system isn’t just a tangle of wires, it’s a complex and detailed but very well-organised network of neurons [nerves] and their support cells. There are many types of neuron for transmitting and changing signals in different ways. One type, called cortical GABA-ergic interneurons (cortical INs), controls other networks nearby. And now it’s been shown that certain cortical INs bearing a particular receptor called 5-HT3AR (shown in green in these slices taken at different levels of mouse brain cortex), contain even more subtypes. Different cortical INs have different genes switched on (shown in red and in blue), and that allows them to be traced. These groups of cortical INs (green and blue, or green and red) can be seen in distinct areas. Keeping the same types of neuron together could be an important part of how the nervous system assembles itself.
Written by Esther Redhouse White
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