Converging Inputs to the Entorhinal Cortex From the Piriform Cortex and Medial Septum: Facilitation and Current Source Density Analysis Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Converging inputs to the entorhinal cortex from the piriform cortex and medial septum: facilitation and current source density analysis. J. Neurophysiol. 78: 2602-2615, 1997. The entorhinal cortex receives sensory inputs from the piriform cortex and modulatory inputs from the medial septum. To examine short-term synaptic facilitation effects in these pathways, current source density (CSD) analysis was used first to localize the entorhinal cortex membrane currents, which generate field potentials evoked by stimulation of these afferents. Field potentials were recorded at 50-micron intervals through the medial entorhinal cortex in urethan-anesthetized rats and the one-dimensional CSD was calculated. Piriform cortex stimulation evoked a surface-negative, deep-positive field potential component in the entorhinal cortex with mean onset and peak latencies of 10.4 and 18.4 ms. The component followed brief 100-Hz stimulation, consistent with a monosynaptic response. CSD analysis linked the component to a current sink, which often began in layer I before peaking in layer II. A later, surface-positive field potential component peaked at latencies near 45 ms and was associated with a current source in layer II. Medial septal stimulation evoked positive and negative field potential components which peaked at latencies near 7 and 16 ms, respectively. A weaker and more prolonged surface-negative, deep-positive component peaked at latencies near 25 ms. The early components were generated by currents in the hippocampal formation, and the late surface-negative component was generated by currents in layers II to IV of the entorhinal cortex. Short-term facilitation effects in conscious animals were examined using electrodes chronically implanted near layer II of the entorhinal cortex. Paired-pulse stimulation of the piriform cortex at interpulse intervals of 30 and 40 ms caused the largest facilitation (248%) of responses evoked by the second pulse. Responses evoked by medial septal stimulation also were facilitated maximally (59%) by a piriform cortex conditioning pulse delivered 30-40 ms earlier. Paired pulse stimulation of the medial septum caused the largest facilitation (149%) at intervals of 70 ms, but piriform cortex evoked responses were facilitated maximally (46%) by a septal conditioning pulse 100-200 ms earlier. Frequency potentiation effects were maximal during 12- to 18-Hz stimulation of either the piriform cortex or medial septum. Occlusion tests suggested that piriform cortex and medial septal efferents activate the same neurons. The CSD analysis results show that evoked field potential methods can be used effectively in chronically prepared animals to examine synaptic responses in the converging inputs from the piriform cortex and medial septum to the entorhinal cortex. The short-term potentiation phenomena observed here suggest that low-frequency activity in these pathways during endogenous oscillatory states may enhance entorhinal cortex responsivity to olfactory inputs.

publication date

  • November 1997