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J Neurophysiol. 1998 Jul;80(1):155-61.

Limbic gamma rhythms. I. Phase-locked oscillations in hippocampal CA1 and subiculum.

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Neuroscience Unit, Department of Physiology, The Medical School, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom.


Gamma oscillations (approximately 40 Hz) were induced in transverse hippocampal slices by tetanic stimulation of CA1 and/or subiculum. Tetanic stimulation of each site elicited population gamma oscillations in the surrounding tissue <400 micro(m) away. Stimulation of CA1 alone could evoke activity at both CA1 and subiculum. Subicular stimulation, however, did not transmit to CA1. When the rostral end of CA1 was stimulated, gamma oscillations transmitted across <1.5 mm of silent CA1 before reappearing in the subiculum. Tetanic stimulation of CA1 increased [K+]o to 8.2 +/- 1.5 mM (mean +/- SE). The location of the peak increase corresponded to the site of local gamma generation. Silent areas of CA1 experienced smaller [K+]o increases, to 4.9 +/- 0.7 mM. The subiculum, which generated gamma, remained at the baseline 3.0 mM. Although fluctuations in [K+]o may have an impact on the generation of gamma rhythms, they are not necessary for them. Gamma oscillations had similar frequencies in CA1 and subiculum (40.4 +/- 2.9 and 43.9 +/- 3.1 Hz, respectively). When present in both, the oscillations typically were phase locked with the subiculum lagging by 5.4 +/- 1.8 ms. When both CA1 and subiculum were stimulated the lag decreased by 28%. These delays approximate those expected for the conduction velocity of axons between the two regions, here estimated at 0.52 +/- 0.07 m/s. Transmission of gamma oscillations from CA1 to subiculum was blocked by the focal addition of the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid-receptor antagonist, 6-nitro-7-sulfamoylbenzo[f]quinoxaline-2,3-dione, to the subiculum. Oscillations induced in CA1 by local tetanic stimulation were blocked by focal application of the gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABAA) receptor antagonist, bicuculline, to CA1. Focal application of bicuculline to the subiculum blocked gamma due to subicular stimulation but not that due to CA1 stimulation. Bath-applied bicuculline disrupted subicular gamma evoked by subicular stimulation and led to a transient period of epileptiform responses before completely blocking responses. The further addition of the GABAB receptor antagonist, CGP 55845A, reversed this block, restoring the epileptic discharges evoked by tetanic stimulation. This suggests that the subiculum differs from hippocampal CA3 and neocortex, in having a powerful GABAB receptor-dependent mechanism to prevent epileptic discharges. The subiculum generates gamma rhythms both in response to local stimulation and to gamma rhythms evoked in CA1. Subicular gamma differs from that in CA1 in the presence of population spike doublets rather than singlets on many cycles. In both areas, generation of gamma by local stimulation depends on GABAA receptors, suggesting that the subiculum shares the interneuronal network mechanism we proposed for CA1.

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