Dopamine receptor activation reorganizes neuronal ensembles during hippocampal sharp waves in vitro

PLoS One. 2014 Aug 4;9(8):e104438. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104438. eCollection 2014.


Hippocampal sharp wave (SW)/ripple complexes are thought to contribute to memory consolidation. Previous studies suggest that behavioral rewards facilitate SW occurrence in vivo. However, little is known about the precise mechanism underlying this enhancement. Here, we examined the effect of dopaminergic neuromodulation on spontaneously occurring SWs in acute hippocampal slices. Local field potentials were recorded from the CA1 region. A brief (1 min) treatment with dopamine led to a persistent increase in the event frequency and the magnitude of SWs. This effect lasted at least for our recording period of 45 min and did not occur in the presence of a dopamine D1/D5 receptor antagonist. Functional multineuron calcium imaging revealed that dopamine-induced SW augmentation was associated with an enriched repertoire of the firing patterns in SW events, whereas the overall tendency of individual neurons to participate in SWs and the mean number of cells participating in a single SW were maintained. Therefore, dopaminergic activation is likely to reorganize cell assemblies during SWs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Dopamine / administration & dosage
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Hippocampus / drug effects*
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Neurons / drug effects*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Receptors, Dopamine D5 / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Receptors, Dopamine D5
  • Dopamine

Grant support

This work was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Science Research on Innovative Areas (22115003; 25119004) ( and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science through the Funding Program for Next Generation World-Leading Researchers (NEXT Program), initiated by the Council for Science and Technology Policy (LS023) ( The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.