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Cortical and thalamic inputs drive distinct hippocampal microcircuits to modulate synchronized activity during development

Robert, Vincent; Butola, Tanvi; Basu, Jayeeta
Synchronized activity, a hallmark of hippocampal network dynamics, appears early during development. Whether extrinsic inputs drive such activity remains unknown. In this issue of Neuron, Leprince et al.1 show that synchronized activity, while modulated by both cortical and thalamic inputs ex vivo, depends solely on cortical inputs in vivo.
PMID: 36924761
ISSN: 1097-4199
CID: 5448972

Lateral entorhinal cortex inputs modulate hippocampal dendritic excitability by recruiting a local disinhibitory microcircuit

Bilash, Olesia M; Chavlis, Spyridon; Johnson, Cara D; Poirazi, Panayiota; Basu, Jayeeta
The lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) provides multisensory information to the hippocampus, directly to the distal dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons. LEC neurons perform important functions for episodic memory processing, coding for contextually salient elements of an environment or experience. However, we know little about the functional circuit interactions between the LEC and the hippocampus. We combine functional circuit mapping and computational modeling to examine how long-range glutamatergic LEC projections modulate compartment-specific excitation-inhibition dynamics in hippocampal area CA1. We demonstrate that glutamatergic LEC inputs can drive local dendritic spikes in CA1 pyramidal neurons, aided by the recruitment of a disinhibitory VIP interneuron microcircuit. Our circuit mapping and modeling further reveal that LEC inputs also recruit CCK interneurons that may act as strong suppressors of dendritic spikes. These results highlight a cortically driven GABAergic microcircuit mechanism that gates nonlinear dendritic computations, which may support compartment-specific coding of multisensory contextual features within the hippocampus.
PMID: 36640337
ISSN: 2211-1247
CID: 5434452

Local and long-range GABAergic circuits in hippocampal area CA1 and their link to Alzheimer's disease

Hernández-Frausto, Melissa; Bilash, Olesia M; Masurkar, Arjun V; Basu, Jayeeta
GABAergic inhibitory neurons are the principal source of inhibition in the brain. Traditionally, their role in maintaining the balance of excitation-inhibition has been emphasized. Beyond homeostatic functions, recent circuit mapping and functional manipulation studies have revealed a wide range of specific roles that GABAergic circuits play in dynamically tilting excitation-inhibition coupling across spatio-temporal scales. These span from gating of compartment- and input-specific signaling, gain modulation, shaping input-output functions and synaptic plasticity, to generating signal-to-noise contrast, defining temporal windows for integration and rate codes, as well as organizing neural assemblies, and coordinating inter-regional synchrony. GABAergic circuits are thus instrumental in controlling single-neuron computations and behaviorally-linked network activity. The activity dependent modulation of sensory and mnemonic information processing by GABAergic circuits is pivotal for the formation and maintenance of episodic memories in the hippocampus. Here, we present an overview of the local and long-range GABAergic circuits that modulate the dynamics of excitation-inhibition and disinhibition in the main output area of the hippocampus CA1, which is crucial for episodic memory. Specifically, we link recent findings pertaining to GABAergic neuron molecular markers, electrophysiological properties, and synaptic wiring with their function at the circuit level. Lastly, given that area CA1 is particularly impaired during early stages of Alzheimer's disease, we emphasize how these GABAergic circuits may contribute to and be involved in the pathophysiology.
PMID: 37841892
ISSN: 1662-5110
CID: 5605472

Task-selective place cells show behaviorally driven dynamics during learning and stability during memory recall

Zemla, Roland; Moore, Jason J; Hopkins, Maya D; Basu, Jayeeta
Decades of work propose that hippocampal activity supports internal representation of learned experiences and contexts, allowing individuals to form long-term memories and quickly adapt behavior to changing environments. However, recent studies insinuate hippocampal representations can drift over time, raising the question: how could the hippocampus hold stable memories when activity of its neuronal maps fluctuates? We hypothesized that task-dependent hippocampal maps set by learning rules and structured attention stabilize as a function of behavioral performance. To test this, we imaged hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons during learning and memory recall phases of a new task where mice use odor cues to navigate between two reward zones. Across learning, both orthogonal and overlapping task-dependent place maps form rapidly, discriminating trial context with strong correlation to behavioral performance. Once formed, task-selective place maps show increased long-term stability during memory recall phases. We conclude that memory demand and attention stabilize hippocampal activity to maintain contextually rich spatial representations.
PMID: 36417882
ISSN: 2211-1247
CID: 5382872

Assessing Local and Branch-specific Activity in Dendrites

Moore, Jason J; Robert, Vincent; Rashid, Shannon K; Basu, Jayeeta
Dendrites are elaborate neural processes which integrate inputs from various sources in space and time. While decades of work have suggested an independent role for dendrites in driving nonlinear computations for the cell, only recently have technological advances enabled us to capture the variety of activity in dendrites and their coupling dynamics with the soma. Under certain circumstances, activity generated in a given dendritic branch remains isolated, such that the soma or even sister dendrites are not privy to these localized signals. Such branch-specific activity could radically increase the capacity and flexibility of coding for the cell as a whole. Here, we discuss these forms of localized and branch-specific activity, their functional relevance in plasticity and behavior, and their supporting biophysical and circuit-level mechanisms. We conclude by showcasing electrical and optical approaches in hippocampal area CA3, using original experimental data to discuss experimental and analytical methodology and key considerations to take when investigating the functional relevance of independent dendritic activity.
PMID: 34756987
ISSN: 1873-7544
CID: 5050502

Ultrapotent chemogenetics for research and potential clinical applications

Magnus, Christopher J; Lee, Peter H; Bonaventura, Jordi; Zemla, Roland; Gomez, Juan L; Ramirez, Melissa H; Hu, Xing; Galvan, Adriana; Basu, Jayeeta; Michaelides, Michael; Sternson, Scott M
Chemogenetics enables non-invasive chemical control over cell populations in behaving animals. However, existing small molecule agonists show insufficient potency or selectivity. There is also need for chemogenetic systems compatible with both research and human therapeutic applications. We developed a new ion channel-based platform for cell activation and silencing that is controlled by low doses of the anti-smoking drug varenicline. We then synthesized novel sub-nanomolar potency agonists, called uPSEMs, with high selectivity for the chemogenetic receptors. uPSEMs and their receptors were characterized in brains of mice and a rhesus monkey by in vivo electrophysiology, calcium imaging, positron emission tomography, behavioral efficacy testing, and receptor counterscreening. This platform of receptors and selective ultrapotent agonists enables potential research and clinical applications of chemogenetics.
PMID: 30872534
ISSN: 1095-9203
CID: 3733452

Heterodimerization of Munc13 C2A domain with RIM regulates synaptic vesicle docking and priming

Camacho, Marcial; Basu, Jayeeta; Trimbuch, Thorsten; Chang, Shuwen; Pulido-Lozano, Cristina; Chang, Shwu-Shin; Duluvova, Irina; Abo-Rady, Masin; Rizo, Josep; Rosenmund, Christian
The presynaptic active zone protein Munc13 is essential for neurotransmitter release, playing key roles in vesicle docking and priming. Mechanistically, it is thought that the C2A domain of Munc13 inhibits the priming function by homodimerization, and that RIM disrupts the autoinhibitory homodimerization forming monomeric priming-competent Munc13. However, it is unclear whether the C2A domain mediates other Munc13 functions in addition to this inactivation-activation switch. Here, we utilize mutations that modulate the homodimerization and heterodimerization states to define additional roles of the Munc13 C2A domain. Using electron microscopy and electrophysiology in hippocampal cultures, we show that the C2A domain is critical for additional steps of vesicular release, including vesicle docking. Optimal vesicle docking and priming is only possible when Munc13 heterodimerizes with RIM via its C2A domain. Beyond being a switching module, our data suggest that the Munc13-RIM heterodimer is an active component of the vesicle docking, priming and release complex.
PMID: 28489077
ISSN: 2041-1723
CID: 2572042

Hippocampal function in rodents

Zemla, Roland; Basu, Jayeeta
The hippocampus is crucial for the formation and recall of long-term memories about people, places, objects, and events. Capitalizing on high-resolution microscopy, in vivo electrophysiology, and genetic manipulation, recent research in rodents provides evidence for hippocampal ensemble coding on the spatial, episodic, and contextual dimensions. Here we highlight the functional contribution of newly described long-range connections between hippocampus and cortical areas, and the relative impact of inhibitory and excitatory dynamics in generating behaviorally relevant population activity. Our goal is to provide an integrated view of hippocampal circuit function to understand mnemonic computations at the systems and cellular levels that underlie adaptive learned behaviors.
PMID: 28477511
ISSN: 1873-6882
CID: 2548762

Gating of hippocampal activity, plasticity, and memory by entorhinal cortex long-range inhibition

Basu, Jayeeta; Zaremba, Jeffrey D; Cheung, Stephanie K; Hitti, Frederick L; Zemelman, Boris V; Losonczy, Attila; Siegelbaum, Steven A
The cortico-hippocampal circuit is critical for storage of associational memories. Most studies have focused on the role in memory storage of the excitatory projections from entorhinal cortex to hippocampus. However, entorhinal cortex also sends inhibitory projections, whose role in memory storage and cortico-hippocampal activity remains largely unexplored. We found that these long-range inhibitory projections enhance the specificity of contextual and object memory encoding. At the circuit level, these gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-releasing projections target hippocampal inhibitory neurons and thus act as a disinhibitory gate that transiently promotes the excitation of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons by suppressing feedforward inhibition. This enhances the ability of CA1 pyramidal neurons to fire synaptically evoked dendritic spikes and to generate a temporally precise form of heterosynaptic plasticity. Long-range inhibition from entorhinal cortex may thus increase the precision of hippocampal-based long-term memory associations by assessing the salience of mnemonormation to the immediate sensory input.
PMID: 26744409
ISSN: 1095-9203
CID: 1926532

The Corticohippocampal Circuit, Synaptic Plasticity, and Memory

Basu, Jayeeta; Siegelbaum, Steven A
Synaptic plasticity serves as a cellular substrate for information storage in the central nervous system. The entorhinal cortex (EC) and hippocampus are interconnected brain areas supporting basic cognitive functions important for the formation and retrieval of declarative memories. Here, we discuss how information flow in the EC-hippocampal loop is organized through circuit design. We highlight recently identified corticohippocampal and intrahippocampal connections and how these long-range and local microcircuits contribute to learning. This review also describes various forms of activity-dependent mechanisms that change the strength of corticohippocampal synaptic transmission. A key point to emerge from these studies is that patterned activity and interaction of coincident inputs gives rise to associational plasticity and long-term regulation of information flow. Finally, we offer insights about how learning-related synaptic plasticity within the corticohippocampal circuit during sensory experiences may enable adaptive behaviors for encoding spatial, episodic, social, and contextual memories.
PMID: 26525152
ISSN: 1943-0264
CID: 1825442