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Neuroscience. 2004;129(1):255-65.

Synaptic activation patterns of the perirhinal-entorhinal inter-connections.

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Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, 3801 University Street, H3A 2B4, Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Ample neuropsychological evidence supports the role of rhinal cortices in memory. The perirhinal cortex (PRC) represents one of the main conduits for the bi-directional flow of information between the entorhinal-hippocampal network and the cortical mantle, a process essential in memory formation. However, despite anatomical evidence for a robust reciprocal connectivity between the perirhinal and entorhinal cortices, neurophysiological understanding of this circuitry is lacking. We now present the results of a series of electrophysiological experiments in rats that demonstrate robust synaptic activation patterns of the perirhinal-entorhinal inter-connections. First, using silicon multi-electrode arrays placed under visual guidance in vivo we performed current source density (CSD) analysis of lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) responses to PRC stimulation, which demonstrated a current sink in layers II-III of the LEC with a latency consistent with monosynaptic activation. To further substantiate and extend this conclusion, we developed a PRC-LEC slice preparation where CSD analysis also revealed a current sink in superficial LEC layers in response to PRC stimulation. Importantly, intracellular recording of superficial LEC layer neurons confirmed that they receive a major monosynaptic excitatory input from the PRC. Finally, CSD analysis of the LEC to PRC projection in vivo also allowed us to document robust feedback synaptic activation of PRC neurons to deep LEC layer activation. We conclude that a clear bidirectional pattern of synaptic interactions exists between the PRC and LEC that would support a dynamic flow of information subserving memory function in the temporal lobe.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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