Analysis of excitatory microcircuitry in the medial entorhinal cortex reveals cell-type-specific differences.
ABSTRACT Medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) plays an important role in physiological processes underlying navigation, learning, and memory. Excitatory cells in the different MEC layers project in a region-specific manner to the hippocampus. However, the intrinsic microcircuitry of the main excitatory cells in the superficial MEC layers is largely unknown. Using scanning photostimulation, we investigated the functional microcircuitry of two such cell types, stellate and pyramidal cells. We found cell-type-specific intralaminar and ascending interlaminar feedback inputs. The ascending interlaminar inputs display distinct organizational principles depending on the cell-type and its position within the superficial lamina: the spatial spread of inputs for stellate cells is narrower than for pyramidal cells, while inputs to pyramidal cells in layer 3, but not in layer 2, exhibit an asymmetric offset to the medial side of the cell's main axis. Differential laminar sources of excitatory inputs might contribute to the functional diversity of stellate and pyramidal cells.