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Cell Rep. 2017 May 9;19(6):1110-1116. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.04.041.

Excitatory Microcircuits within Superficial Layers of the Medial Entorhinal Cortex.

Author information

1
Neuroscience Research Center, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany.
2
Neuroscience Research Center, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany; Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0RE, UK.
3
Neuroscience Research Center, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany; Berlin Institute of Health, 10117 Berlin, Germany.
4
Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin, 10115 Berlin, Germany; Department of Biology, Institute for Theoretical Biology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 10115 Berlin, Germany.
5
Institute of Neurophysiology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany.
6
Neuroscience Research Center, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany; Berlin Institute of Health, 10117 Berlin, Germany; Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin, 10115 Berlin, Germany; Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure, 10117 Berlin, Germany; Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany. Electronic address: dietmar.schmitz@charite.de.

Abstract

The distinctive firing pattern of grid cells in the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) supports its role in the representation of space. It is widely believed that the hexagonal firing field of grid cells emerges from neural dynamics that depend on the local microcircuitry. However, local networks within the MEC are still not sufficiently characterized. Here, applying up to eight simultaneous whole-cell recordings in acute brain slices, we demonstrate the existence of unitary excitatory connections between principal neurons in the superficial layers of the MEC. In particular, we find prevalent feed-forward excitation from pyramidal neurons in layer III and layer II onto stellate cells in layer II, which might contribute to the generation or the inheritance of grid cell patterns.

KEYWORDS:

connectivity; excitatory neuron; grid cell; medial entorhinal cortex; neuronal network; pyramidal cell; stellate cell

PMID:
28494861
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2017.04.041
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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