Inhibitory circuits are diverse, yet with a poorly understood cell biology. Functional characterization of distinct inhibitory neuron subtypes has not been sufficient to explain how GABAergic neurotransmission sculpts principal cell activity in a relevant fashion. Our Mini-Symposium brings together several emerging mechanisms that modulate GABAergic neurotransmission dynamically from either the presynaptic or the postsynaptic site. The first two talks discuss novel developmental and neuronal subtype-specific contributions to the excitatory/inhibitory balance and circuit maturation. The next three talks examine how interactions between cellular pathways, lateral diffusion of proteins between synapses, and chloride transporter function at excitatory and inhibitory synapses and facilitate inhibitory synapse adaptations. Finally, we address functional differences within GABAergic interneurons to highlight the importance of diverse, flexible, and versatile inputs that shape network function. Together, the selection of topics demonstrates how developmental and activity-dependent mechanisms coordinate inhibition in relation to the excitatory inputs and vice versa.