Gaps in inhibition compromise glycine/GABA
receptor-mediated modulation of firing rate only under conditions where shunting can modulate firing rate. (A) Whereas the time course of inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) directly parallels the change in membrane conductance, the resultant inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) are much slower because of membrane capacitance. The relative brevity of IPSCs coupled with irregularity in the timing of inputs could allow gaps during which little shunting occurs (red stars). (B) Most f
exc curves were unchanged by switching from intermittent inhibition (dashed lines) to constant inhibition (solid lines); the exceptions were those for E
anion = -65 and -70 mV where constant inhibition caused greater reduction in f
out than intermittent inhibition. This argues in favor of shunting's ability to modulate firing rate only when average depolarization remains subthreshold (see Results). Constant inhibition was applied as a point conductance in the soma equal to the sum of time-averaged conductances from each inhibitory synapse, repeated at each f
inh. α = 1.