A hippocampal circuit linking dorsal CA2 to ventral CA1 critical for social memory dynamics

Nat Commun. 2018 Oct 9;9(1):4163. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06501-w.


Recent results suggest that social memory requires the dorsal hippocampal CA2 region as well as a subset of ventral CA1 neurons. However, it is unclear whether dorsal CA2 and ventral CA1 represent parallel or sequential circuits. Moreover, because evidence implicating CA2 in social memory comes largely from long-term inactivation experiments, the dynamic role of CA2 in social memory remains unclear. Here, we use pharmacogenetics and optogenetics in mice to acutely and reversibly silence dorsal CA2 and its projections to ventral hippocampus. We show that dorsal CA2 activity is critical for encoding, consolidation, and recall phases of social memory. Moreover, dorsal CA2 contributes to social memory by providing strong excitatory input to the same subregion of ventral CA1 that contains the subset of neurons implicated in social memory. Thus, our studies provide new insights into a dorsal CA2 to ventral CA1 circuit whose dynamic activity is necessary for social memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CA1 Region, Hippocampal / physiology*
  • CA2 Region, Hippocampal / physiology*
  • Gene Silencing
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Nucleus Accumbens / physiology
  • Pyramidal Cells / physiology
  • Social Behavior*