Presubicular and parasubicular cortical neurons of the rat: electrophysiological and morphological properties.
ABSTRACT Intracellular recordings and Neurobiotin-injection were used to examine the electrophysiology and morphology of presubicular and parasubicular cortical neurons in horizontal slices from rat brains. Evoked responses were obtained by stimulation of subicular and entorhinal cortices. Stellate cells were recorded in layers II and V of presubiculum and parasubiculum. Superficial layer cells had spiny dendrites that were found to reach layer I. Deep layer cells had sparsely spiny dendrites or dendrites without spines that did not reach past layer IV. Pyramidal cells were recorded in layers III and V of presubiculum and layers II and V of parasubiculum. Superficial layer cells had spiny dendrites that were found to reach layer I. Deep layer cells had sparsely spiny dendrites or dendrites without spines that could reach layer II. Electrophysiologically, stellate and pyramidal cells were similar to one another, regardless of cell layer, exhibiting repetitive single spiking in response to depolarizing current injection. No cells were found to burst in response to current injection. While there were subtle electrophysiological differences among the cell types, stellate cells were more similar to pyramidal cells from the same or adjacent layers than to other stellate cells from more distant layers. Similarly, pyramidal cells were electrophysiologically more similar to nearby stellate cells than to other distant pyramidal cells. Cells of all layers responded to subicular stimulation with a short latency (< 9 ms), excitatory postsynaptic potential. Superficial layer cells responded at short (< 9 ms), longer (10-20 ms) and very long latencies (> 20 ms) to stimulation of superficial layers of medial entorhinal cortex. Deep layer cells responded at short latencies (< 9 ms) to stimulation of deep layers of medial entorhinal cortex. Many cells responded to both subicular and entorhinal inputs. Both pyramidal and stellate cells in the deep layer of pre/parasubiculum could exhibit population bursting behavior in response to stimulation of subiculum or entorhinal cortex. The results define the cellular morphology and basic electrophysiology of presubicular and parasubicular neurons of the rat brain as a step toward understanding the physiology of the retrohippocampal cortices.
- SourceAvailable from: Robert U Muller[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Using the techniques set out in the preceding paper (Muller et al., 1987), we investigated the response of place cells to changes in the animal's environment. The standard apparatus used was a cylinder, 76 cm in diameter, with walls 51 cm high. The interior was uniformly gray except for a white cue card that ran the full height of the wall and occupied 100 degrees of arc. The floor of the apparatus presented no obstacles to the animal's motions. Each of these major features of the apparatus was varied while the others were held constant. One set of manipulations involved the cue card. Rotating the cue card produced equal rotations of the firing fields of single cells. Changing the width of the card did not affect the size, shape, or radial position of firing fields, although sometimes the field rotated to a modest extent. Removing the cue card altogether also left the size, shape, and radial positions of firing fields unchanged, but caused fields to rotate to unpredictable angular positions. The second set of manipulations dealt with the size and shape of the apparatus wall. When the standard (small) cylinder was scaled up in diameter and height by a factor of 2, the firing fields of 36% of the cells observed in both cylinders also scaled, in the sense that the field stayed at the same angular position and at the same relative radial position. Of the cells recorded in both cylinders, 52% showed very different firing patterns in one cylinder than in the other. The remaining 12% of the cells were virtually silent in both cylinders. Similar results were obtained when individual cells were recorded in both a small and a large rectangular enclosure. By contrast, when the apparatus floor plan was changed from circular to rectangular, the firing pattern of a cell in an apparatus of one shape could not be predicted from a knowledge of the firing pattern in the other shape. The final manipulations involved placing vertical barriers into the otherwise unobstructed floor of the small cylinder. When an opaque barrier was set up to bisect a previously recorded firing field, in almost all cases the firing field was nearly abolished. This was true even though the barrier occupied only a small fraction of the firing field area. A transparent barrier was effective as the opaque barrier in attenuating firing fields. The lead base used to anchor the vertical barriers did not affect place cell firing.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)Journal of Neuroscience 08/1987; 7(7):1951-68. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Hippocampal lesions cause spatial learning deficits, and single hippocampal cells show location-specific firing patterns, known as place fields. This suggests the hippocampus plays a critical role in navigation by providing an ongoing indication of the animal's momentary spatial location. One question that has received little attention is how this locational signal is used by downstream brain regions to orchestrate actual navigational behavior. As a first step, we have examined the spatial firing correlates of cells in the dorsal subiculum as rats navigate in an open-field, pellet-searching task. The subiculum is one of the few major output zones for the hippocampus, and it, in turn, projects to numerous other brain areas, each thought to be involved in various learning and memory functions. Most subicular cells showed a robust locational signal. The patterns observed were different from those in the hippocampus, however, in that cells tended to fire throughout much of the environment, but showed graded, location-related rate modulation, such that there were some localized regions of high firing and other regions with relatively low firing. There were slight quantitative differences between the proximal (adjacent to the hippocampus) and distal (farther from the hippocampus) subicular regions, with distal cells showing slightly higher average firing rates, spatial signaling, and firing field size. This was of interest since these two regions have different efferent connections. Examination of spike trains allowed classification of cells into bursting, nonbursting, and theta (putative interneuron) categories, and this is similar to subicular cell types identified in vitro. Interestingly, the bursting and nonbursting types did not differ detectably in spatial firing properties, suggesting that differences in intrinsic membrane properties do not necessitate differences in coding of environmental inputs. The results suggest that the subiculum transmits a robust, highly distributed spatial signal to each of its projection areas, and that this signal is transmitted in both a bursting and nonbursting mode.Journal of Neuroscience 05/1994; 14(4):2339-56. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This paper is a study of the behavioral and spatial firing correlates of neurons in the rat postsubiculum. Recordings were made from postsubicular neurons as rats moved freely throughout a cylindrical chamber, where the major cue for orientation was a white card taped to the inside wall. An automatic video/computer system monitored cell discharge while simultaneously tracking the position of 2 colored light emitting diodes (LEDs) secured to the animal's head. The animal's location was calculated from the position of one of the LEDs and head direction in the horizontal plane calculated from the relative positions of the 2 LEDs. Approximately 26% of the cells were classified as head-direction cells because they discharged as a function of the animal's head direction in the horizontal plane, independent of the animal's behavior, location, or trunk position. For each head-direction cell, vectors drawn in the direction of maximal firing were parallel throughout the recording chamber and did not converge toward a single point. Plots of firing rate versus head direction showed that each firing-rate/head-direction function was adequately described by a triangular function. Each cell's maximum firing rate occurred at only one (the preferred) head direction; firing rates at head directions on either side of the preferred direction decreased linearly with angular deviation from the preferred direction. Results from 24 head-direction cells in 7 animals showed an equal distribution of preferred firing directions over a 360 degrees angle. The peak firing rate of head-direction cells varied from 5 to 115 spikes/sec (mean: 35). The range of head-direction angles over which discharge was elevated (directional firing range) was usually about 90 degrees, with little, if any, discharge at head directions outside this range. Quantitative analysis showed the location of the animal within the cylinder had minimal effect on directional cell firing. For each head-direction cell, the preferred direction, peak firing rate, and directional firing range remained stable for days. These results identify a new cell type that signals the animal's head direction in its environment.Journal of Neuroscience 03/1990; 10(2):420-35. · 6.91 Impact Factor