Colom LV, Nassif-Caudarella S, Dickson CT, Smythe JW, Bland BH
Hippocampus 1991 Oct;1(4):381-90
In their laboratory the authors have previously demonstrated that hippocampal slices could be induced to generate trains of “theta-like” oscillations by whole-bath perfusions of carbachol. Until recently, it has not been possible to generate similar activity in the septally deafferented hippocampus of an otherwise intact brain by microinfusions of carbachol. This study presents a full report of the first demonstration of a theta-like oscillation in the in vivo, septally deafferented hippocampal formation. Rats were anesthetized with urethane and implanted with microinfusion cannulae in the region of the medial septum/vertical limb of the diagonal band of Broca (MS/vDBB) and at single or multiple sites in the stratum moleculare of the fascia dentata. The MS/vDBB was microinfused with procaine hydrochloride to produce a reversible suppression lasting for approximately 20 minutes. Intrahippocampal microinfusions of carbachol or bicuculline alone (in the postprocaine condition of the MS/vDBB) failed to produce any theta-like oscillations. The combination of carbachol and bicuculline produced trains of theta-like oscillations during suppression of the MS/vDBB very similar to those seen in the slice preparations. The oscillations were blocked by intravenous administration of atropine sulfate, and they had the same depth profile as that of theta. Theta-on cells were shown to discharge in rhythmic bursts in synchrony with the oscillations. Thus, it would appear that the essential nature of the medial septal input to the hippocampal formation, for the generation of theta field activity in the intact brain, consists of a critical balance between cholinergic and GABAergic circuitry.