Gamma-frequency oscillations (GFOs, >40 Hz) are a general network signature at seizure onset at all stages of development, with possible deleterious consequences in the immature brain. At early developmental stages, the simultaneous occurrence of GFOs in different brain regions suggests the existence of a long-ranging synchronizing mechanism at seizure onset. Here, we show that hippocamposeptal (HS) neurons, which are GABA long-range projection neurons, are mandatory to drive the firing of hippocampal interneurons in a high-frequency regime at the onset of epileptiform discharges in the intact, immature septohippocampal formation. The synchronized firing of interneurons in turn produces GFOs, which are abolished after the elimination of a small number of HS neurons. Because they provide the necessary fast conduit for pacing large neuronal populations and display intra- and extrahippocampal long-range projections, HS neurons appear to belong to the class of hub cells that play a crucial role in the synchronization of developing networks.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.