Electric stimulation fMRI of the perforant pathway to the rat hippocampus

Magn Reson Imaging. 2008 Sep;26(7):978-86. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2008.02.018. Epub 2008 May 13.


The hippocampal formation is a brain system that is implicated in learning and memory. The major input to the hippocampus arrives from the entorhinal cortex (EC) to the dentate gyrus (DG) through the perforant path. In the present work, we have investigated the functional properties of this connection by concomitantly applying electrophysiological techniques, deep-brain electric microstimulation and functional magnetic resonance imaging in anesthetized rats. We systematically delivered different current intensities at diverse stimulation frequencies to the perforant path while recording electrophysiological and blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) signals. We observed a linear relationship between the current intensity used to stimulate the hippocampal formation and the amplitude and extension of the induced BOLD response. In addition, we found a frequency-dependent spatial pattern of activation. With stimulation protocols and train frequencies used for kindling, the activity strongly spreads ipsilaterally through the hippocampus, DG, subiculum and EC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Dentate Gyrus / physiology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Entorhinal Cortex / physiology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Perforant Pathway / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley