Development of inhibition onto pyramidal cells may be crucial for the emergence of cortical network activity, including gamma oscillations. In primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), inhibitory synaptogenesis starts in utero and inhibitory synapse density reaches adult levels before birth. However, in DLPFC, the expression levels of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) synapse-related gene products changes markedly during development until young adult age, suggesting a highly protracted maturation of GABA synapse function. Therefore, we examined the development of GABA synapses by recording GABAAR-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (GABAAR-IPSCs) from pyramidal cells in the DLPFC of neonatal, prepubertal, peripubertal, and adult macaque monkeys. We found that the decay of GABAAR-IPSCs, possibly including those from parvalbumin-positive GABA neurons, shortened by prepubertal age, while their amplitude increased until the peripubertal period. Interestingly, both GABAAR-mediated quantal response size, estimated by miniature GABAAR-IPSCs, and the density of GABAAR synaptic appositions, measured with immunofluorescence microscopy, were stable with age. Simulations in a computational model network with constant GABA synapse density showed that the developmental changes in GABAAR-IPSC properties had a significant impact on oscillatory activity and predicted that, whereas DLPFC circuits can generate gamma frequency oscillations by prepubertal age, mature levels of gamma band power are attained at late stages of development.
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