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J Neurosci. 1999 Jan 1;19(1):274-87.

Oscillatory coupling of hippocampal pyramidal cells and interneurons in the behaving Rat.

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Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey 07102, USA.


We examined whether excitation and inhibition are balanced in hippocampal cortical networks. Extracellular field and single-unit activity were recorded by multiple tetrodes and multisite silicon probes to reveal the timing of the activity of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells and classes of interneurons during theta waves and sharp wave burst (SPW)-associated field ripples. The somatic and dendritic inhibition of pyramidal cells was deduced from the activity of interneurons in the pyramidal layer [int(p)] and in the alveus and st. oriens [int(a/o)], respectively. Int(p) and int(a/o) discharged an average of 60 and 20 degrees before the population discharge of pyramidal cells during the theta cycle, respectively. SPW ripples were associated with a 2.5-fold net increase of excitation. The discharge frequency of int(a/o) increased, decreased ("anti-SPW" cells), or did not change ("SPW-independent" cells) during SPW, suggesting that not all interneurons are innervated by pyramidal cells. Int(p) either fired together with (unimodal cells) or both before and after (bimodal cells) the pyramidal cell burst. During fast-ripple oscillation, the activity of interneurons in both the int(p) and int(a/o) groups lagged the maximum discharge probability of pyramidal neurons by 1-2 msec. Network state changes, as reflected by field activity, covaried with changes in the spike train dynamics of single cells and their interactions. Summed activity of parallel-recorded interneurons, but not of pyramidal cells, reliably predicted theta cycles, whereas the reverse was true for the ripple cycles of SPWs. We suggest that network-driven excitability changes provide temporal windows of opportunity for single pyramidal cells to suppress, enable, or facilitate selective synaptic inputs.

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