Activation of dentate hilar neurons by stimulation of the fimbria in rat hippocampal slices

Neurosci Lett. 1993 Jun 25;156(1-2):61-6. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(93)90440-v.


It is has been shown that the major afferent input to the dentate gyrus, the perforant path, excites dentate hilar neurons. However, little is known about the other inputs to hilar cells. Therefore, we examined the responses of hilar neurons to stimulation of the fimbria. We positioned our stimulating electrodes so that granule cells were not excited antidromically by fimbria stimulation, although action potentials were easily triggered in area CA3b and CA3c pyramidal cells by such stimulation. In these experiments, fimbria stimulation evoked responses from every hilar cell tested, including examples of both of the major cell types, the spiny hilar 'mossy' cells (n = 15) and the relatively aspiny, 'fast-spiking' cells (putative interneurons, n = 5). Hilar cell responses consisted primarily of EPSPs that could trigger action potentials, but small IPSPs were also evoked in some cases, particularly in the fast-spiking cells. Excitation was blocked by an antagonist of the AMPA/kainate receptor subtype of excitatory amino acid receptors, 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX, 5 microM, n = 5), whereas the cholinergic antagonist atropine (10 microM) had no effect (n = 4). When sequential intracellular recordings were made from hilar cells and area CA3 pyramidal cells in the same slice, hilar cell EPSPs began after action potentials of CA3b pyramidal cells, and stimulus strengths required to evoke hilar cell EPSPs were above threshold for area CA3b pyramidal cells.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione
  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Atropine / pharmacology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Evoked Potentials / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Muscarinic Antagonists
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Pyramidal Tracts / drug effects
  • Pyramidal Tracts / physiology
  • Quinoxalines / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, AMPA / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Synapses / physiology


  • Muscarinic Antagonists
  • Quinoxalines
  • Receptors, AMPA
  • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione
  • Atropine