A Novel Mechanism for the Grid-to-Place Cell Transformation Revealed by Transgenic Depolarization of Medial Entorhinal Cortex Layer II.

Research paper by Benjamin R BR Kanter, Christine M CM Lykken, Daniel D Avesar, Aldis A Weible, Jasmine J Dickinson, Benjamin B Dunn, Nils Z NZ Borgesius, Yasser Y Roudi, Clifford G CG Kentros

Indexed on: 24 Mar '17Published on: 24 Mar '17Published in: Neuron


The spatial receptive fields of neurons in medial entorhinal cortex layer II (MECII) and in the hippocampus suggest general and environment-specific maps of space, respectively. However, the relationship between these receptive fields remains unclear. We reversibly manipulated the activity of MECII neurons via chemogenetic receptors and compared the changes in downstream hippocampal place cells to those of neurons in MEC. Depolarization of MECII impaired spatial memory and elicited drastic changes in CA1 place cells in a familiar environment, similar to those seen during remapping between distinct environments, while hyperpolarization did not. In contrast, both manipulations altered the firing rate of MEC neurons without changing their firing locations. Interestingly, only depolarization caused significant changes in the relative firing rates of individual grid fields, reconfiguring the spatial input from MEC. This suggests a novel mechanism of hippocampal remapping whereby rate changes in MEC neurons lead to locational changes of hippocampal place fields.