The influence of voltage-dependent inhibitory conductances on firing rate versus input current (f-I) curves is studied using simulations from a new compartmental model of a pyramidal cell of the weakly electric fish Apteronotus leptorhynchus. The voltage dependence of shunting-type inhibition enhances the subtractive effect of inhibition on f-I curves previously demonstrated in Holt and Koch (1997) for the voltage-independent case. This increased effectiveness is explained using the behavior of the average subthreshold voltage with input current and, in particular, the nonlinearity of Ohm's law in the subthreshold regime. Our simulations also reveal, for both voltage-dependent and -independent inhibitory conductances, a divisive inhibition regime at low frequencies (f < 40 Hz). This regime, dependent on stochastic inhibitory synaptic input and a coupling of inhibitory strength and variance, gives way to subtractive inhibition at higher-output frequencies (f > 40 Hz). A simple leaky integrate- and-fire type model that incorporates the voltage dependence supports the results from our full ionic simulations.

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