Changes in activity of fast-spiking interneurons of the monkey striatum during reaching at a visual target.
Marche K., Apicella P.
Recent works highlight the importance of local inhibitory interneurons in regulating the function of the striatum. In particular, fast-spiking interneurons (FSIs), which likely correspond to a subgroup of GABAergic interneurons, have been involved in the control of movement by exerting strong inhibition on striatal output pathways. However, little is known about the exact contribution of these presumed interneurons in movement preparation, initiation, and execution. We recorded the activity of FSIs in the striatum of monkeys as they performed reaching movements to a visual target under two task conditions: one in which the movement target was presented at unsignaled left or right locations, and another in which advance information about target location was available, thus allowing monkeys to react faster. Modulations of FSI activity around the initiation of movement (53% of 55 neurons) consisted mostly of increases reaching maximal firing immediately before or, less frequently, after movement onset. Another subset of FSIs showed decreases in activity during movement execution. Rarely did movement-related changes in FSI firing depend on response direction and movement speed. Modulations of FSI activity occurring relatively early in relation to movement initiation were more influenced by the preparation for movement, compared with those occurring later. Conversely, FSI activity remained unaffected, as monkeys were preparing a movement toward a specific location and instead moved to the opposite direction when the trigger occurred. These results provide evidence that changes in activity of presumed GABAergic interneurons of the primate striatum could make distinct contributions to processes involved in movement generation. NEW & NOTEWORTHY: We explored the functional contributions of striatal fast-spiking interneurons (FSIs), presumed GABAergic interneurons, to distinct steps of movement generation in monkeys performing a reaching task. The activity of individual FSIs was modulated before and during the movement, consisting mostly of increased in firing rates. Changes in activity also occurred during movement preparation. We interpret this variety of modulation types at different moments of task performance as reflecting differential FSI control over distinct phases of movement.