IJMS, Vol. 20, Pages 2506: Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms Underlying Somatostatin-Based Signaling in Two Model Neural Networks, the Retina and the Hippocampus (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)
Neural inhibition plays a key role in determining the specific computational tasks of different brain circuitries. This functional “braking” activity is provided by inhibitory interneurons that use different neurochemicals for signaling. One of these substances, somatostatin, is found in several neural networks, raising questions about the significance of its widespread occurrence and usage. Here, we address this issue by analyzing the somatostatinergic system in two regions of the central nervous system: the retina and the hippocampus. By comparing the available information on these structures, we identify common motifs in the action of somatostatin that may explain its involvement in such diverse circuitries. The emerging concept is that somatostatin-based signaling, through conserved molecular and cellular mechanisms, allows neural networks to operate correctly.