The neural network of the temporal lobe is thought to provide a cognitive map of our surroundings. Functional analysis of this network has been hampered by coarse tools that often result in collateral damage to other circuits. We developed a chemogenetic system to temporally control electrical input into the hippocampus. When entorhinal input to the perforant path was acutely silenced, hippocampal firing patterns became destabilized and underwent extensive remapping. We also found that spatial memory acquired prior to neural silencing was impaired by loss of input through the perforant path. Together, our experiments show that manipulation of entorhinal activity destabilizes spatial coding and disrupts spatial memory. Moreover, we introduce a chemogenetic model for non-invasive neuronal silencing that offers multiple advantages over existing strategies in this setting.
Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.