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eNeuro. 2018 Sep 18;5(5). pii: ENEURO.0102-18.2018. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0102-18.2018. eCollection 2018 Sep-Oct.

Electrophysiological Signature Reveals Laminar Structure of the Porcine Hippocampus.

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Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104.


The hippocampus is integral to working and episodic memory and is a central region of interest in diseases affecting these processes. Pig models are widely used in translational research and may provide an excellent bridge between rodents and nonhuman primates for CNS disease models because of their gyrencephalic neuroanatomy and significant white matter composition. However, the laminar structure of the pig hippocampus has not been well characterized. Therefore, we histologically characterized the dorsal hippocampus of Yucatan miniature pigs and quantified the cytoarchitecture of the hippocampal layers. We then utilized stereotaxis combined with single-unit electrophysiological mapping to precisely place multichannel laminar silicon probes into the dorsal hippocampus without the need for image guidance. We used in vivo electrophysiological recordings of simultaneous laminar field potentials and single-unit activity in multiple layers of the dorsal hippocampus to physiologically identify and quantify these layers under anesthesia. Consistent with previous reports, we found the porcine hippocampus to have the expected archicortical laminar structure, with some anatomical and histological features comparable to the rodent and others to the primate hippocampus. Importantly, we found these distinct features to be reflected in the laminar electrophysiology. This characterization, as well as our electrophysiology-based methodology targeting the porcine hippocampal lamina combined with high-channel-count silicon probes, will allow for analysis of spike-field interactions during normal and disease states in both anesthetized and future awake behaving neurophysiology in this large animal.


Custom silicon probes; hippocampal cytoarchitecture; in vivo electrophysiology; pig

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