Topographic specificity of functional connections from hippocampal CA3 to CA1

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Feb 24;101(8):2560-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0308577100.


The hippocampus is a cortical region thought to play an important role in learning and memory. Most of our knowledge about the detailed organization of hippocampal circuitry responsible for these functions is derived from anatomical studies. These studies present an incomplete picture, however, because the functional character and importance of connections are often not revealed by anatomy. Here, we used a physiological method (photostimulation with caged glutamate) to probe the fine pattern of functional connectivity between the CA3 and CA1 subfields in the mouse hippocampal slice preparation. We recorded intracellularly from CA1 and CA3 pyramidal neurons while scanning with photostimulation across the entire CA3 subfield with high spatial resolution. Our results show that, at a given septotemporal level, nearby CA1 neurons receive synaptic inputs from neighboring CA3 neurons. Thus, the CA3 to CA1 mapping preserves neighbor relations.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Electrophysiology / methods
  • Hippocampus / anatomy & histology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / radiation effects
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Light
  • Mice
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neurons / radiation effects
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Pyramidal Cells / cytology
  • Pyramidal Cells / physiology*
  • Pyramidal Cells / radiation effects