Hippocampal oscillations are critical for information processing, and are strongly influenced by inputs from the medial septum. Hippocamposeptal neurons provide direct inhibitory feedback from the hippocampus onto septal cells, and are therefore likely to also play an important role in the circuit; these neurons fire at either low or high frequency, reflecting hippocampal network activity during theta oscillations or ripple events, respectively. Here, we optogenetically target the long-range GABAergic projection from the hippocampus to the medial septum in rats, and thereby simulate hippocampal input onto downstream septal cells in an acute slice preparation. In response to optogenetic activation of hippocamposeptal fibers at theta and ripple frequencies, we elicit postsynaptic GABAergic responses in a subset (24%) of septal cells, most predominantly in fast-spiking cells. In addition, in another subset of septal cells (19%) corresponding primarily to cholinergic cells, we observe a slow hyperpolarization of the resting membrane potential and a decrease in input resistance, particularly in response to prolonged high-frequency (ripple range) stimulation. This slow response is partially sensitive to GIRK channel and D2 dopamine receptor block. Our results suggest that two independent populations of septal cells distinctly encode hippocampal feedback, enabling the septum to monitor ongoing patterns of activity in the hippocampus.
- Medial septum
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