The long-range coupling within prefrontal-hippocampal networks that account for cognitive performance emerges early in life. The discontinuous hippocampal theta bursts have been proposed to drive the generation of neonatal prefrontal oscillations, yet the cellular substrate of these early interactions is still unresolved. Here, we selectively target optogenetic manipulation of glutamatergic projection neurons in the CA1 area of either dorsal or intermediate/ventral hippocampus at neonatal age to elucidate their contribution to the emergence of prefrontal oscillatory entrainment. We show that despite stronger theta and ripples power in dorsal hippocampus, the prefrontal cortex is mainly coupled with intermediate/ventral hippocampus by phase-locking of neuronal firing via dense direct axonal projections. Theta band-confined activation by light of pyramidal neurons in intermediate/ventral but not dorsal CA1 that were transfected by in utero electroporation with high-efficiency channelrhodopsin boosts prefrontal oscillations. Our data causally elucidate the cellular origin of the long-range coupling in the developing brain.
Keywords: cortical development; hippocampal; mouse; neuroscience; optogenetics; oscillations; prefrontal.
© 2018, Ahlbeck et al.