Sharp wave-ripples (SPW-Rs) are a hippocampal network phenomenon critical for memory consolidation and planning. SPW-Rs have been extensively studied in the adult brain, yet their developmental trajectory is poorly understood. While SPWs have been recorded in rodents shortly after birth, the time point and mechanisms of ripple emergence are still unclear. Here, we combine in vivo electrophysiology with optogenetics and chemogenetics in 4 to 12-day-old mice to address this knowledge gap. We show that ripples are robustly detected and induced by light stimulation of channelrhodopsin-2-transfected CA1 pyramidal neurons only from postnatal day 10 onwards. Leveraging a spiking neural network model, we mechanistically link the maturation of inhibition and ripple emergence. We corroborate these findings by reducing ripple rate upon chemogenetic silencing of CA1 interneurons. Finally, we show that early SPW-Rs elicit a more robust prefrontal cortex response than SPWs lacking ripples. Thus, development of inhibition promotes ripples emergence.
© 2024. The Author(s).