Wolansky T, Pagliardini S, Greer JJ, Dickson CT
J. Comp. Neurol. 2007 May;502(3):427-41
It has been reported that application of substance P (SP) to the medial portion of the entorhinal cortex (EC) induces a powerful antiepileptic effect (Maubach et al.  Neuroscience 83:1047-1062). This effect is presumably mediated via inhibitory interneurons expressing the neurokinin-1 receptor (NK(1)R), but the existence of NK(1)R-expressing inhibitory interneurons in the EC has not yet been reported. The present immunohistochemical study was performed in the rat to examine the existence and distribution of NK(1)R-expressing neurons in the EC as well as any co-expression of other neurotransmitters/neuromodulators known to be associated with inhibitory interneurons: gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), parvalbumin (PARV), calretinin (CT), calbindin (CB), somatostatin (SST), and neuropeptide Y (NPY). Our results indicated that NK(1)R-positive neurons were distributed rather sparsely (especially in the medial EC), primarily in layers II, V, and VI. The results of our double-immunohistochemical staining indicated that the vast majority of NK(1)R-expressing neurons also expressed GABA, SST, and NPY. In addition, CT was co-expressed in a weakly stained subgroup of NK(1)R-expressing neurons, and CB was co-expressed very rarely in the lateral EC, but not in the medial EC. In contrast, SP-immunopositive axons with fine varicosities were distributed diffusely throughout all layers of the EC, appearing to radiate from the angular bundle. SP may be released in a paracrine manner to activate a group of NK(1)R-expressing entorhinal neurons that co-express GABA, SST, and NPY, exerting a profound inhibitory influence on synchronized network activity in the EC.
Ma L, Shalinsky MH, Alonso A, Dickson CT
Although serotonin (5-HT) is an important neuromodulator in the superficial layers of the medial entorhinal cortex (mEC), there is some disagreement concerning its influences upon the membrane properties of neurons within this region. We performed whole cell recordings of mEC Layer II projection neurons in rat brain slices in order to characterize the intrinsic influences of 5-HT. In current clamp, 5-HT evoked a biphasic response consisting of a moderately short latency and large amplitude hyperpolarization followed by a slowly developing, long lasting, and small amplitude depolarization. Correspondingly, in voltage clamp, 5-HT evoked a robust outward followed by a smaller inward shift of holding current. The outward current evoked by 5-HT showed a consistent current/voltage (I/V) relationship across cells with inward rectification, and demonstrating a reversal potential that was systematically dependent upon the extracellular concentration of K(+), suggesting that it was predominantly carried by potassium ions. However, the inward current showed a less consistent I/V relationship across different cells, suggesting multiple independent ionic mechanisms. The outward current was mediated through activation of 5-HT(1A) receptors via a G-protein dependent mechanism while inward currents were evoked in a 5-HT(1A)-independent fashion. A significant proportion of the inward current was blocked by the I(h) inhibitor ZD7288 and appeared to be due to 5-HT modulation of I(h) as 5-HT shifted the activation curve of I(h) in a depolarizing fashion. Serotonin is thus likely to influence, in a composite fashion, the information processing of Layer II neurons in the mEC and thus, the passage of neocortical information via the perforant pathway to the hippocampus.