CA2 Neuronal Activity Controls Hippocampal Oscillations and Social Behavior

Georgia M. Alexander, Logan Y. Brown, Shannon Farris, Daniel Lustberg, Caroline Pantazis, Bernd Gloss, Nicholas W. Plummer, Natallia V. Riddick, Sheryl S. Moy, Patricia Jensen, Serena M. Dudek

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Received: 20th December 17

Hippocampal oscillations arise from coordinated activity among distinct populations of neurons and are associated with cognitive functions and behaviors. Although much progress has been made toward identifying the relative contribution of specific neuronal populations in hippocampal oscillations, far less is known about the role of hippocampal area CA2, which is thought to support social aspects of episodic memory. Furthermore, the little existing evidence on the role of CA2 in oscillations has led to conflicting conclusions. Therefore, we sought to identify the specific contribution of CA2 pyramidal neurons to brain oscillations using a controlled experimental system. We used excitatory and inhibitory DREADDs in transgenic mice to acutely and reversibly manipulate CA2 pyramidal cell activity. Here, we report on the role of CA2 in hippocampal-prefrontal cortical network oscillations and social behavior. We found that excitation or inhibition of CA2 pyramidal cells bidirectionally regulated hippocampal and prefrontal cortical low gamma oscillations and inversely modulated hippocampal ripple oscillations. Further, CA2 inhibition impaired social approach behavior. These findings support a role for CA2 in low gamma generation and ripple modulation within the hippocampus and underscore the importance of CA2 neuronal activity in extrahippocampal oscillations and social behavior.

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