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PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e26586. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026586. Epub 2011 Oct 31.

Novel candidate genes associated with hippocampal oscillations.

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Department of Mathematics, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The hippocampus is critical for a wide range of emotional and cognitive behaviors. Here, we performed the first genome-wide search for genes influencing hippocampal oscillations. We measured local field potentials (LFPs) using 64-channel multi-electrode arrays in acute hippocampal slices of 29 BXD recombinant inbred mouse strains. Spontaneous activity and carbachol-induced fast network oscillations were analyzed with spectral and cross-correlation methods and the resulting traits were used for mapping quantitative trait loci (QTLs), i.e., regions on the genome that may influence hippocampal function. Using genome-wide hippocampal gene expression data, we narrowed the QTLs to eight candidate genes, including Plcb1, a phospholipase that is known to influence hippocampal oscillations. We also identified two genes coding for calcium channels, Cacna1b and Cacna1e, which mediate presynaptic transmitter release and have not been shown to regulate hippocampal network activity previously. Furthermore, we showed that the amplitude of the hippocampal oscillations is genetically correlated with hippocampal volume and several measures of novel environment exploration.

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