Early Cortical Changes in Gamma Oscillations in Alzheimer's Disease.
ABSTRACT: The entorhinal cortices in the temporal lobe of the brain are key structures relaying memory related information between the neocortex and the hippocampus. The medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) routes spatial information, whereas the lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) routes predominantly olfactory information to the hippocampus. Gamma oscillations are known to coordinate information transfer between brain regions by precisely timing population activity of neuronal ensembles. Here, we studied the organization of in vitro gamma oscillations in the MEC and LEC of the transgenic (tg) amyloid precursor protein (APP)-presenilin 1 (PS1) mouse model of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) at 4-5 months of age. In vitro gamma oscillations using the kainate model peaked between 30-50 Hz and therefore we analyzed the oscillatory properties in the 20-60 Hz range. Our results indicate that the LEC shows clear alterations in frequency and power of gamma oscillations at an early stage of AD as compared to the MEC. The gamma-frequency oscillation slows down in the LEC and also the gamma power in dorsal LEC is decreased as early as 4-5 months in the tg APP-PS1 mice. The results of this study suggest that the timing of olfactory inputs from LEC to the hippocampus might be affected at an early stage of AD, resulting in a possible erroneous integration of the information carried by the two input pathways to the hippocampal subfields.
Project description:Episodic memory, the conscious recollection of past events, is typically experienced from a first-person (egocentric) perspective. The hippocampus plays an essential role in episodic memory and spatial cognition. Although the allocentric nature of hippocampal spatial coding is well understood, little is known about whether the hippocampus receives egocentric information about external items. We recorded in rats the activity of single neurons from the lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) and medial entorhinal cortex (MEC), the two major inputs to the hippocampus. Many LEC neurons showed tuning for egocentric bearing of external items, whereas MEC cells tended to represent allocentric bearing. These results demonstrate a fundamental dissociation between the reference frames of LEC and MEC neural representations.
Project description:A prominent theory in the neurobiology of memory processing is that episodic memory is supported by contextually gated spatial representations in the hippocampus formed by combining spatial information from medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) with non-spatial information from lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC). However, there is a growing body of evidence from lesion and single-unit recording studies in rodents suggesting that LEC might have a role in encoding space, particularly the current and previous locations of objects within the local environment. Landmarks, both local and global, have been shown to control the spatial representations hypothesized to underlie cognitive maps. Consequently, it has recently been suggested that information processing within this network might be organized with reference to spatial scale with LEC and MEC providing information about local and global spatial frameworks respectively. In the present study, we trained animals to search for food using either a local or global spatial framework. Animals were re-tested on both tasks after receiving excitotoxic lesions of either the MEC or LEC. LEC lesioned animals were impaired in their ability to learn a local spatial framework task. LEC lesioned animals were also impaired on an object recognition (OR) task involving multiple local features but unimpaired at recognizing a single familiar object. Together, this suggests that LEC is involved in associating features of the local environment. However, neither LEC nor MEC lesions impaired performance on the global spatial framework task.
Project description:The hippocampus receives two streams of information, spatial and nonspatial, via major afferent inputs from the medial (MEC) and lateral entorhinal cortexes (LEC). The MEC and LEC projections in the temporoammonic pathway are topographically organized along the transverse-axis of area CA1. The potential for functional segregation of area CA1, however, remains relatively unexplored. Here, we demonstrated differential novelty-induced c-Fos expression along the transverse-axis of area CA1 corresponding to topographic projections of MEC and LEC inputs. We found that, while novel place exposure induced a uniform c-Fos expression along the transverse-axis of area CA1, novel object exposure primarily activated the distal half of CA1 neurons. In hippocampal slices, we observed distinct presynaptic properties between LEC and MEC terminals, and application of either DA or NE produced a largely selective influence on one set of inputs (LEC). Finally, we demonstrated that differential c-Fos expression along the transverse axis of area CA1 was largely abolished by an antagonist of neuromodulatory receptors, clozapine. Our results suggest that neuromodulators can control topographic TA projections allowing the hippocampus to differentially encode new information along the transverse axis of area CA1.
Project description:How visual scene memory is processed differentially by the upstream structures of the hippocampus is largely unknown. We sought to dissociate functionally the lateral and medial subdivisions of the entorhinal cortex (LEC and MEC, respectively) in visual scene-dependent tasks by temporarily inactivating the LEC and MEC in the same rat. When the rat made spatial choices in a T-maze using visual scenes displayed on LCD screens, the inactivation of the MEC but not the LEC produced severe deficits in performance. However, when the task required the animal to push a jar or to dig in the sand in the jar using the same scene stimuli, the LEC but not the MEC became important. Our findings suggest that the entorhinal cortex is critical for scene-dependent mnemonic behavior, and the response modality may interact with a sensory modality to determine the involvement of the LEC and MEC in scene-based memory tasks.
Project description:Rate remapping is a recently revealed neural code in which sensory information modulates the firing rate of hippocampal place cells. The mechanism underlying rate remapping is unknown. Its characteristic modulation, however, must arise from the interaction of the two major inputs to the hippocampus, the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC), in which grid cells represent the spatial position of the rat, and the lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC), in which cells represent the sensory properties of the environment. We have used computational methods to elucidate the mechanism by which this interaction produces rate remapping. We show that the convergence of LEC and MEC inputs, in conjunction with a competitive network process mediated by feedback inhibition, can account quantitatively for this phenomenon. The same principle accounts for why different place fields of the same cell vary independently as sensory information is altered. Our results show that rate remapping can be explained in terms of known mechanisms.
Project description:Although the developmental principles of sensory and cognitive processing have been extensively investigated, their synergy has been largely neglected. During early life, most sensory systems are still largely immature. As a notable exception, the olfactory system is functional at birth, controlling mother-offspring interactions and neonatal survival. Here, we elucidate the structural and functional principles underlying the communication between olfactory bulb (OB) and lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC)-the gatekeeper of limbic circuitry-during neonatal development. Combining optogenetics, pharmacology, and electrophysiology in vivo with axonal tracing, we show that mitral cell-dependent discontinuous theta bursts in OB drive network oscillations and time the firing in LEC of anesthetized mice via axonal projections confined to upper cortical layers. Acute pharmacological silencing of OB activity diminishes entorhinal oscillations, whereas odor exposure boosts OB-entorhinal coupling at fast frequencies. Chronic impairment of olfactory sensory neurons disrupts OB-entorhinal activity. Thus, OB activity shapes the maturation of entorhinal circuits.
Project description:Intracellular accumulation of abnormally phosphorylated tau in different types of neurons is a pathological characteristic of Alzheimer's disease (AD). While tau modification and associated neuronal loss and hypometabolism start in the entorhinal cortex (EC) in early AD patients, the mechanism by which mutant P301L hTau leads to dementia is not fully elucidated. Here, we studied the effects of P301L hTau transduction in the medial EC (MEC) of mice on tau phosphorylation and accumulation, and cognitive deficit. We found that the exogenous mutant tau protein was restricted in MEC without spreading to other brain regions at one month after transduction. Interestingly, expression of the mutant tau in MEC induces endogenous tau hyperphosphorylation and accumulation in hippocampus and cortex, and inhibits neuronal activity with attenuated PP-DG synapse plasticity, leading to hippocampus-dependent memory deficit with intact olfactory function. These findings suggest a novel neuropathological mechanism of early AD, which is initiated by tau accumulation in MEC, and demonstrate a tau pathological model of early stage AD.
Project description:CA1 cells receive direct input from space-responsive cells in medial entorhinal cortex (MEC), such as grid cells, as well as more nonspatial cells in lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC). Because MEC projects preferentially to the proximal part of the CA1, bordering CA2, whereas LEC innervates only the distal part, bordering subiculum, we asked if spatial tuning is graded along the transverse axis of CA1. Tetrodes were implanted along the entire proximodistal axis of dorsal CA1 in rats. Data were recorded in cylinders large enough to elicit firing at more than one location in many neurons. Distal CA1 cells showed more dispersed firing and had a larger number of firing fields than proximal cells. Phase-locking of spikes to MEC theta oscillations was weaker in distal CA1 than in proximal CA1. The findings suggest that spatial firing in CA1 is organized transversally, with the strongest spatial modulation occurring in the MEC-associated proximal part.
Project description:In the present study we provide the first systematic and quantitative hodological study of the calbindin-expressing (CB+) principal neurons in layer II of the entorhinal cortex and compared the respective projections of the lateral and medial subdivisions of the entorhinal cortex. Using elaborate quantitative retrograde tracing, complemented by anterograde tracing, we report that the layer II CB+ population comprises neurons with diverse, mainly excitatory projections. At least half of them originate local intrinsic and commissural projections which distribute mainly to layer I and II. We further show that long-range CB+ projections from the two entorhinal subdivisions differ substantially in that MEC projections mainly target field CA1 of the hippocampus, whereas LEC CB+ projections distribute much more widely to a substantial number of known forebrain targets. This connectional difference between the CB+ populations in LEC and MEC is reminiscent of the overall projection pattern of the two entorhinal subdivisions.
Project description:The entorhinal cortex (EC) has bidirectional connections with the hippocampus and plays a critical role in memory formation and retrieval. EC is one of the most vulnerable regions in the brain in early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD), a neurodegenerative disease with progressive memory impairments. Accumulating evidence from healthy behaving animals indicates gamma oscillations (30-100 Hz) as critical for mediating interactions in the circuit between EC and hippocampus. However, it is still unclear whether gamma oscillations have causal relationship with memory impairment in AD. Here we provide the first evidence that in vivo gamma oscillations in the EC are impaired in an AD mouse model. Cross-frequency coupling of gamma (30-100 Hz) oscillations to theta oscillations was reduced in the medial EC of anesthetized amyloid precursor protein knock-in (APP-KI) mice. Phase locking of spiking activity of layer II/III pyramidal cells to the gamma oscillations was significantly impaired. These data indicate that the neural circuit activities organized by gamma oscillations were disrupted in the medial EC of AD mouse model, and point to gamma oscillations as one of possible mechanisms for cognitive dysfunction in AD patients.