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J Comp Neurol. 2008 Feb 1;506(4):535-47.

Distribution of bursting neurons in the CA1 region and the subiculum of the rat hippocampus.

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Department of Neurobiology and Physiology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA.


We performed patch-clamp recordings from morphologically identified and anatomically mapped pyramidal neurons of the ventral hippocampus to test the hypothesis that bursting neurons are distributed on a gradient from the CA2/CA1 border (proximal) through the subiculum (distal), with more bursting observed at distal locations. We find that the well-defined morphological boundaries between the hippocampal subregions CA1 and subiculum do not correspond to abrupt changes in electrophysiological properties. Rather, we observed that the percentage of bursting neurons is linearly correlated with position in the proximal-distal axis across the CA1 and the subiculum, the percentages of bursting neurons being 10% near the CA1-CA2 border, 24% at the CA1-subiculum border, and higher than 50% in the distal subiculum. The distribution of bursting neurons was paralleled by a gradient in afterdepolarization (ADP) amplitude. We also tested the hypothesis that there was an association between bursting and two previously described morphologically distinct groups of pyramidal neurons (twin and single apical dendrites) in the CA1 region. We found no difference in output mode between single and twin apical dendrite morphologies, which was consistent with the observation that the two morphologies were equally distributed across the transverse axis of the CA1 region. Taken together with the known organization of connections from CA3 to CA1 and CA1 to subiculum, our results indicate that bursting neurons are most likely to be connected to regular spiking neurons and vice versa.

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