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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Nov 25;105(47):18572-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0809302105. Epub 2008 Nov 7.

NMDA receptor-dependent switching between different gamma rhythm-generating microcircuits in entorhinal cortex.

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Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle NE2 4HH, United Kingdom.


Local circuits in the medial entorhinal cortex (mEC) and hippocampus generate gamma frequency population rhythms independently. Temporal interaction between these areas at gamma frequencies is implicated in memory-a phenomenon linked to activity of NMDA-subtype glutamate receptors. While blockade of NMDA receptors does not affect frequency of gamma rhythms in hippocampus, it exposes a second, lower frequency (25-35 Hz) gamma rhythm in mEC. In experiment and model, NMDA receptor-dependent mEC gamma rhythms were mediated by basket interneurons, but NMDA receptor-independent gamma rhythms were mediated by a novel interneuron subtype-the goblet cell. This cell was distinct from basket cells in morphology, intrinsic membrane properties and synaptic inputs. The two different gamma frequencies matched the different intrinsic frequencies in hippocampal areas CA3 and CA1, suggesting that NMDA receptor activation may control the nature of temporal interactions between mEC and hippocampus, thus influencing the pathway for information transfer between the two regions.

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