Tuning in the Hippocampal Theta Band In Vitro: Methodologies for Recording from the Isolated Rodent Septohippocampal Circuit

J Vis Exp. 2017 Aug 2;(126):55851. doi: 10.3791/55851.


This protocol outlines the procedures for preparing and recording from the isolated whole hippocampus, of WT and transgenic mice, along with recent improvements in methodologies and applications for the study of theta oscillations. A simple characterization of the isolated hippocampal preparation is presented whereby the relationship between internal hippocampal theta oscillators is examined together with the activity of pyramidal cells, and GABAergic interneurons, of the cornu ammonis-1 (CA1) and subiculum (SUB) areas. Overall, we show that the isolated hippocampus is capable of generating intrinsic theta oscillations in vitro and that rhythmicity generated within the hippocampus can be precisely manipulated by optogenetic stimulation of parvalbumin-positive (PV) interneurons. The in vitro isolated hippocampal preparation offers a unique opportunity to use simultaneous field and intracellular patch-clamp recordings from visually-identified neurons to better understand the mechanisms underlying theta rhythm generation.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CA1 Region, Hippocampal / physiology
  • Dissection / instrumentation
  • Dissection / methods
  • Electrophysiology / instrumentation
  • Electrophysiology / methods*
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / surgery
  • Interneurons / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Optogenetics / instrumentation
  • Optogenetics / methods
  • Organ Culture Techniques / instrumentation
  • Organ Culture Techniques / methods
  • Parvalbumins / metabolism
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques / instrumentation
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques / methods
  • Perfusion / instrumentation
  • Perfusion / methods
  • Pyramidal Cells / physiology
  • Rodentia
  • Theta Rhythm*


  • Parvalbumins