Sublayer-Specific Coding Dynamics during Spatial Navigation and Learning in Hippocampal Area CA1.
ABSTRACT: The mammalian hippocampus is critical for spatial information processing and episodic memory. Its primary output cells, CA1 pyramidal cells (CA1 PCs), vary in genetics, morphology, connectivity, and electrophysiological properties. It is therefore possible that distinct CA1 PC subpopulations encode different features of the environment and differentially contribute to learning. To test this hypothesis, we optically monitored activity in deep and superficial CA1 PCs segregated along the radial axis of the mouse hippocampus and assessed the relationship between sublayer dynamics and learning. Superficial place maps were more stable than deep during head-fixed exploration. Deep maps, however, were preferentially stabilized during goal-oriented learning, and representation of the reward zone by deep cells predicted task performance. These findings demonstrate that superficial CA1 PCs provide a more stable map of an environment, while their counterparts in the deep sublayer provide a more flexible representation that is shaped by learning about salient features in the environment. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
Project description:Sharp-wave ripples represent a prominent synchronous activity pattern in the mammalian hippocampus during sleep and immobility. GABAergic interneuronal types are silenced or fire during these events, but the mechanism of pyramidal cell (PC) participation remains elusive. We found opposite membrane polarization of deep (closer to stratum oriens) and superficial (closer to stratum radiatum) rat CA1 PCs during sharp-wave ripples. Using sharp and multi-site recordings in combination with neurochemical profiling, we observed a predominant inhibitory drive of deep calbindin (CB)-immunonegative PCs that contrasts with a prominent depolarization of superficial CB-immunopositive PCs. Biased contribution of perisomatic GABAergic inputs, together with suppression of CA2 PCs, may explain the selection of CA1 PCs during sharp-wave ripples. A deep-superficial gradient interacted with behavioral and spatial effects to determine cell participation during sleep and awake sharp-wave ripples in freely moving rats. Thus, the firing dynamics of hippocampal PCs are exquisitely controlled at subcellular and microcircuit levels in a cell type-selective manner.
Project description:The hippocampus is thought to guide navigation by forming a cognitive map of space. Different environments differ in geometry and the availability of cues that can be used for navigation. Although several spatial coding mechanisms are known to coexist in the hippocampus, how they are influenced by various environmental features is not well understood. To address this issue, we examined the spatial coding characteristics of hippocampal neurons in mice and rats navigating in different environments. We found that CA1 place cells located in the superficial sublayer were more active in cue-poor environments and preferentially used a firing rate code driven by intra-hippocampal inputs. In contrast, place cells located in the deep sublayer were more active in cue-rich environments and used a phase code driven by entorhinal inputs. Switching between these two spatial coding modes was supported by the interaction between excitatory gamma inputs and local inhibition.
Project description:The formation and recall of episodic memory requires precise information processing by the entorhinal-hippocampal network. For several decades, the trisynaptic circuit entorhinal cortex layer II (ECII)?dentate gyrus?CA3?CA1 and the monosynaptic circuit ECIII?CA1 have been considered the primary substrates of the network responsible for learning and memory. Circuits linked to another hippocampal region, CA2, have only recently come to light. Using highly cell type-specific transgenic mouse lines, optogenetics and patch-clamp recordings, we found that dentate gyrus cells, long believed to not project to CA2, send functional monosynaptic inputs to CA2 pyramidal cells through abundant longitudinal projections. CA2 innervated CA1 to complete an alternate trisynaptic circuit, but, unlike CA3, projected preferentially to the deep, rather than to the superficial, sublayer of CA1. Furthermore, contrary to existing knowledge, ECIII did not project to CA2. Our results allow a deeper understanding of the biology of learning and memory.
Project description:CA1 pyramidal cells (PCs) are not homogeneous but rather can be grouped by molecular, morphological, and functional properties. However, less is known about synaptic sources differentiating PCs. Using paired recordings in vitro, two-photon Ca(2+) imaging in vivo, and computational modeling, we found that parvalbumin-expressing basket cells (PVBCs) evoked greater inhibition in CA1 PCs located in the deep compared to superficial layer of stratum pyramidale. In turn, analysis of reciprocal connectivity revealed more frequent excitatory inputs to PVBCs by superficial PCs, demonstrating bias in target selection by both the excitatory and inhibitory local connections in CA1. Additionally, PVBCs further segregated among deep PCs, preferentially innervating the amygdala-projecting PCs but receiving preferential excitation from the prefrontal cortex-projecting PCs, thus revealing distinct perisomatic inhibitory interactions between separate output channels. These results demonstrate the presence of heterogeneous PVBC-PC microcircuits, potentially contributing to the sparse and distributed structure of hippocampal network activity.
Project description:A central component of our ability to navigate an environment is the formation of a memory representation that is allocentric and thus independent of our starting point within that environment. Computational models and rodent electrophysiological recordings suggest a critical role for the CA1 subregion of the hippocampus in this type of coding; however, the hippocampal neural basis of spatial learning in humans remains unclear. We studied subjects learning virtual environments using high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (1.6 mm x 1.6 mm in-plane) and computational unfolding to better visualize substructural changes in neural activity in the hippocampus. We show that the right posterior CA1 subregion is active and positively correlated with performance when subjects learn a spatial environment independent of starting point and direction. Altogether, our results demonstrate that the CA1 subregion is involved in our ability to learn a map-like representation of an environment.
Project description:Fear memories guide adaptive behavior in contexts associated with aversive events. The hippocampus forms a neural representation of the context that predicts aversive events. Representations of context incorporate multisensory features of the environment, but must somehow exclude sensory features of the aversive event itself. We investigated this selectivity using cell type-specific imaging and inactivation in hippocampal area CA1 of behaving mice. Aversive stimuli activated CA1 dendrite-targeting interneurons via cholinergic input, leading to inhibition of pyramidal cell distal dendrites receiving aversive sensory excitation from the entorhinal cortex. Inactivating dendrite-targeting interneurons during aversive stimuli increased CA1 pyramidal cell population responses and prevented fear learning. We propose subcortical activation of dendritic inhibition as a mechanism for exclusion of aversive stimuli from hippocampal contextual representations during fear learning.
Project description:Although hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons (PNs) were thought to comprise a uniform population, recent evidence supports two distinct sublayers along the radial axis, with deep neurons more likely to form place cells than superficial neurons. CA1 PNs also differ along the transverse axis with regard to direct inputs from entorhinal cortex (EC), with medial EC (MEC) providing spatial information to PNs toward CA2 (proximal CA1) and lateral EC (LEC) providing non-spatial information to PNs toward subiculum (distal CA1). We demonstrate that the two inputs differentially activate the radial sublayers and that this difference reverses along the transverse axis, with MEC preferentially targeting deep PNs in proximal CA1 and LEC preferentially exciting superficial PNs in distal CA1. This differential excitation reflects differences in dendritic spine numbers. Our results reveal a heterogeneity in EC-CA1 connectivity that may help explain differential roles of CA1 PNs in spatial and non-spatial learning and memory.
Project description:The ability to form long-term memories for novel events depends on information processing within the hippocampus (HC) and entorhinal cortex (EC). The HC-EC circuitry shows a quantitative segregation of anatomical directionality into different neuronal layers. Whereas superficial EC layers mainly project to dentate gyrus (DG), CA3 and apical CA1 layers, HC output is primarily sent from pyramidal CA1 layers and subiculum to deep EC layers. Here we utilize this directionality information by measuring encoding activity within HC/EC subregions with 7?T high resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Multivariate Bayes decoding within HC/EC subregions shows that processing of novel information most strongly engages the input structures (superficial EC and DG/CA2-3), whereas subsequent memory is more dependent on activation of output regions (deep EC and pyramidal CA1). This suggests that while novelty processing is strongly related to HC-EC input pathways, the memory fate of a novel stimulus depends more on HC-EC output.
Project description:Sharp-wave ripples (SPW-Rs) in the hippocampus are implied in memory consolidation, as shown by observational and interventional experiments. However, the mechanism of their generation remains unclear. Using two-dimensional silicon probe arrays, we investigated the propagation of SPW-Rs across the hippocampal CA1, CA2, and CA3 subregions. Synchronous activation of CA2 ensembles preceded SPW-R-related population activity in CA3 and CA1 regions. Deep CA2 neurons gradually increased their activity prior to ripples and were suppressed during the population bursts of CA3-CA1 neurons (ramping cells). Activity of superficial CA2 cells preceded the activity surge in CA3-CA1 (phasic cells). The trigger role of the CA2 region in SPW-R was more pronounced during waking than sleeping. These results point to the CA2 region as an initiation zone for SPW-Rs.
Project description:Interactions between the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) are critical for learning and memory. Hippocampal activity during awake sharp-wave ripple (SWR) events is important for spatial learning, and hippocampal SWR activity often represents past or potential future experiences. Whether or how this reactivation engages the PFC, and how reactivation might interact with ongoing patterns of PFC activity, remains unclear. We recorded hippocampal CA1 and PFC activity in animals learning spatial tasks and found that many PFC cells showed spiking modulation during SWRs. Unlike in CA1, SWR-related activity in PFC comprised both excitation and inhibition of distinct populations. Within individual SWRs, excitation activated PFC cells with representations related to the concurrently reactivated hippocampal representation, while inhibition suppressed PFC cells with unrelated representations. Thus, awake SWRs mark times of strong coordination between hippocampus and PFC that reflects structured reactivation of representations related to ongoing experience.