Subthreshold membrane potential dynamics of posterior parietal cortical neurons coupled with hippocampal ripples

Physiol Int. 2021 Mar 25. doi: 10.1556/2060.2021.00001. Online ahead of print.


During behavioral states of immobility, sleep, and anesthesia, the hippocampus generates high-frequency oscillations called ripples. Ripples occur simultaneously with synchronous neuronal activity in the neocortex, known as slow waves, and contribute to memory consolidation. During these ripples, various neocortical regions exhibit modulations in spike rates and local field activity irrespective of whether they receive direct synaptic inputs from the hippocampus. However, little is known about the subthreshold dynamics of the membrane potentials of neocortical neurons during ripples. We patch-clamped layer 2/3 pyramidal cells in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), a neocortical region that is involved in allocentric spatial representation of behavioral exploration and sequential series of relevant action potentials during ripples. We simultaneously monitored the membrane potentials of post hoc-identified PPC neurons and the local field potentials of the hippocampus in anesthetized mice. More than 50% of the recorded PPC neurons exhibited significant depolarizations and/or hyperpolarizations during ripples. Histological inspections of the recorded neurons revealed that the ripple-modulated PPC neurons were distributed in the PPC in a spatially non-biased fashion. These results suggest that hippocampal ripples are widely but selectively associated with the subthreshold dynamics of the membrane potentials of PPC neurons even though there is no monosynaptic connectivity between the hippocampus and the PPC.

Keywords: hippocampus; membrane potential; posterior parietal cortex; ripple; whole-cell recording.