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Nat Neurosci. 2004 Jan;7(1):41-7. Epub 2003 Nov 23.

Spike timing of dendrite-targeting bistratified cells during hippocampal network oscillations in vivo.

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MRC Anatomical Neuropharmacology Unit, Department of Pharmacology, Oxford University, Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TH, UK.

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  • Nat Neurosci. 2006 Jul;9(7):979.


Behavior-contingent network oscillations bring about transient, functionally coherent neuronal assemblies in the cerebral cortex, including the hippocampus. Inhibitory input on and close to the soma is believed to phase intrinsic oscillations and output of pyramidal cells, but the function of GABA release to pyramidal cell dendrites remains unknown. We recorded the oscillation-locked spike timing of identified bistratified interneurons in rats. These cells mainly innervated small dendritic shafts of pyramidal cells co-aligned with the glutamatergic Schaffer collateral/commissural input. During theta oscillations, bistratified cells fired at a phase when, on average, pyramidal cell dendrites are most hyperpolarized. Interneurons targeting the perisomatic domain discharge at an earlier phase. During sharp wave-associated ripples, bistratified cells fired with high frequency and in-phase with basket cells, on average 1-2 ms after the discharges in pyramidal cell somata and dendrites. Our results indicate that bistratified cells rhythmically modulate glutamatergic input to the dendrites of pyramidal cells to actively promote the precise input/output transformation during network oscillations.

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