Cortical interneurons (cINs) are locally-projecting inhibitory neurons that are distributed throughout the cortex. Due to their relatively limited range of influence, their arrangement in the cortex is critical to their function. cINs achieve this arrangement through a process of tangential and radial migration, and apoptosis during development. In this study, we investigated the role of clustered protocadherins (cPcdhs) in establishing the spatial patterning of cINs. cPcdhs are expressed in cINs, and are known to play key functions in cell spacing and cell survival, but their role in cINs is poorly understood. Using spatial statistical analysis, we found that the two main subclasses of cINs, parvalbumin-expressing (PV) and somatostatin-expressing (SST) cINs, are non-randomly spaced within subclass, but randomly with respect to each other. We also found that the relative laminar distribution of each subclass was distinctly altered in whole a- or b-cluster mutants. Examination of perinatal timepoints revealed that the mutant phenotypes emerged relatively late, suggesting that cPcdhs may be acting during cIN morphological elaboration and synaptogenesis. We then analyzed an isoform-specific knockout for pcdh-ac2 and found that it recapitulated the a-cluster knockout, but only in SST cells, suggesting that subtype-specific expression of cPcdh isoforms may help govern subtype-specific spatial distribution.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience