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Neuron. 2008 Jan 24;57(2):290-302. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2007.11.034.

Impaired spatial representation in CA1 after lesion of direct input from entorhinal cortex.

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Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience and Centre for the Biology of Memory, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7489 Trondheim, Norway.


Place-specific firing in the hippocampus is determined by path integration-based spatial representations in the grid-cell network of the medial entorhinal cortex. Output from this network is conveyed directly to CA1 of the hippocampus by projections from principal neurons in layer III, but also indirectly by axons from layer II to the dentate gyrus and CA3. The direct pathway is sufficient for spatial firing in CA1, but it is not known whether similar firing can also be supported by the input from CA3. To test this possibility, we made selective lesions in layer III of medial entorhinal cortex by local infusion of the neurotoxin gamma-acetylenic GABA. Firing fields in CA1 became larger and more dispersed after cell loss in layer III, whereas CA3 cells, which receive layer II input, still had sharp firing fields. Thus, the direct projection is necessary for precise spatial firing in the CA1 place cell population.

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