Cooperative reactivation of hippocampal and prefrontal neurons is considered crucial for mnemonic processes. To directly record synaptic substances supporting the interregional interactions, we develop concurrent spike recordings of hippocampal neuronal ensembles and whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of medial prefrontal neurons in awake rats. We find that medial prefrontal neurons depolarize when hippocampal neurons synchronize. The depolarization in medial prefrontal neurons is larger when hippocampal place cells that encoded overlapping place fields and place cells that encoded a novel environment are synchronously reactivated. Our results suggest a functional circuit-synapse association that enables prefrontal neurons to read out specific memory traces from the hippocampus.
Keywords: hippocampus; neuronal ensembles; novel environment; patch-clamp recording; place cell; prefrontal cortex; synapse; synchronization.
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