Frontiers in neural circuits

Bi-Directional Theta Modulation between the Septo-Hippocampal System and the Mammillary Area in Free-Moving Rats.

PMID 28955209


Hippocampal (HPC) theta oscillations have long been linked to various functions of the brain. Many cortical and subcortical areas that also exhibit theta oscillations have been linked to functional circuits with the hippocampus on the basis of coupled activities at theta frequencies. We examine, in freely moving rats, the characteristics of diencephalic theta local field potentials (LFPs) recorded in the supramammillary/mammillary (SuM/MM) areas that are bi-directionally connected to the HPC through the septal complex. Using partial directed coherence (PDC), we find support for previous suggestions that SuM modulates HPC theta at higher frequencies. We find weak separation of SuM and MM by dominant theta frequency recorded locally. Contrary to oscillatory cell activities under anesthesia where SuM is insensitive, but MM is sensitive to medial septal (MS) inactivation, theta LFPs persisted and became indistinguishable after MS-inactivation. However, MS-inactivation attenuated SuM/MM theta power, while increasing the frequency of SuM/MM theta. MS-inactivation also reduced root mean squared power in both HPC and SuM/MM equally, but reduced theta power differentially in the time domain. We provide converging evidence that SuM is preferentially involved in coding HPC theta at higher frequencies, and that the MS-HPC circuit normally imposes a frequency-limiting modulation over the SuM/MM area as suggested by cell-based recordings in anesthetized animals. In addition, we provide evidence that the postulated SuM-MS-HPC-MM circuit is under complex bi-directional control, rather than SuM and MM having roles as unidirectional relays in the network.