Brain systems communicate by means of neuronal oscillations at multiple temporal and spatial scales. In anesthetized rats, we find that neocortical "slow" oscillation engages neurons in prefrontal, somatosensory, entorhinal, and subicular cortices into synchronous transitions between UP and DOWN states, with a corresponding bimodal distribution of their membrane potential. The membrane potential of hippocampal granule cells and CA3 and CA1 pyramidal cells lacked bimodality, yet it was influenced by the slow oscillation in a region-specific manner. Furthermore, in both anesthetized and naturally sleeping rats, the cortical UP states resulted in increased activity of dentate and most CA1 neurons, as well as the highest probability of ripple events. Yet, the CA3-CA1 network could self-organize into gamma bursts and occasional ripples during the DOWN state. Thus, neo/paleocortical and hippocampal networks periodically reset, self-organize, and temporally coordinate their cell assemblies via the slow oscillation.