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J Physiol. 2015 Jan 1;593(1):197-215. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2014.277814. Epub 2014 Nov 28.

Activation of muscarinic receptors by ACh release in hippocampal CA1 depolarizes VIP but has varying effects on parvalbumin-expressing basket cells.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, 23298, USA.


Optogenetically released acetylcholine (ACh) from medial septal afferents activates muscarinic receptors on both vasoactive intestinal peptide-expressing (VIP) and parvalbumin-expressing (PV) basket cells (BCs) in mouse hippocampal CA1. ACh release depolarized VIP BCs whereas PV BCs depolarized, hyperpolarized or produced biphasic responses. Depolarizing responses in VIP or PV BCs resulted in increased amplitudes and frequencies of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) in CA1 pyramidal neurons. The instantaneous frequency of sIPSCs that result from excitation of VIP or PV BCs primarily occurred within the low gamma frequency band (25-50 Hz). We investigated the effect of acetylcholine release on mouse hippocampal CA1 perisomatically projecting interneurons. Acetylcholine was optogenetically released in hippocampal slices by expressing the excitatory optogenetic protein oChIEF-tdTomato in medial septum/diagonal band of Broca cholinergic neurons using Cre recombinase-dependent adeno-associated virally mediated transfection. The effect of optogenetically released acetylcholine was assessed on interneurons expressing Cre recombinase in vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) or parvalbumin (PV) interneurons using whole cell patch clamp methods. Acetylcholine released onto VIP interneurons that innervate pyramidal neuron perisomatic regions (basket cells, BCs) were depolarized by muscarinic receptors. Although PV BCs were also excited by muscarinic receptor activation, they more frequently responded with hyperpolarizing or biphasic responses. Muscarinic receptor activation resulting from ACh release increased the frequency of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) in downstream hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons with peak instantaneous frequencies occurring in both the gamma and theta bandwidths. Both PV and VIP BCs contributed to the increased sIPSC frequency in pyramidal neurons and optogenetic suppression of PV or VIP BCs inhibited sIPSCs occurring in the gamma range. Therefore, we propose acetylcholine release in CA1 has a complex effect on CA1 pyramidal neuron output through varying effects on perisomatically projecting interneurons.

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