It is believed that phase synchronization facilitates neural communication and neural plasticity throughout the hippocampal-cortical network, and further supports cognition and memory. The pathway from the ventral hippocampus to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is thought to play a significant role in emotional memory processing. Therefore, the information transmission on the pathway was hypothesized to be disrupted in the depressive state, which could be related to its impaired synaptic plasticity. In this study, local field potentials (LFPs) from both ventral CA1 (vCA1) and mPFC were recorded in both normal and chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) model rats under urethane anesthesia. LFPs of all rats were recorded before and after the long-term potentiation (LTP) induced on the vCA1-mPFC pathway in order to figure out the correlation of oscillatory synchronization of LFPs and synaptic plasticity. Our results showed the vCA1-to-mPFC unidirectional phase coupling of the theta rhythm, rather than the power of either region, was significantly enhanced by LTP induction, with less enhancement in the CUS model rats compared to that in the normal rats. In addition, theta phase coupling was positively correlated with synaptic plasticity on vCA1-mPFC pathway. Moreover, the theta-slow gamma phase-amplitude coupling in vCA1 was long-term enhanced after high frequency stimulation. These results suggest that the impaired synaptic plasticity in vCA1-mPFC pathway could be reflected by the attenuated theta phase coupling and theta-gamma cross frequency coupling of LFPs in the depression state.
Keywords: depression; gamma oscillations; medial prefrontal cortex; theta rhythm; ventral hippocampus.
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