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Hippocampal population bursts ("sharp wave-ripples") occur during rest and slow-wave sleep and are thought to be important for memory consolidation. The cellular mechanisms involved are incompletely understood. Here we investigated the cellular mechanisms underlying the initiation of sharp waves using a hippocampal slice model. To this end, we used a combination of field recordings with planar multielectrode arrays and whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of individual anatomically identified pyramidal neurons and interneurons. We found that GABA(A) receptor-mediated inhibition is necessary for sharp wave generation. Moreover, the activity of individual perisomatic-targeting interneurons can both suppress, and subsequently enhance, the local generation of sharp waves. Finally, we show that this is achieved by the tight control of local excitation and inhibition by perisomatic-targeting interneurons. These results suggest that perisomatic-targeting interneurons assist in selecting the subset of pyramidal neurons that initiate each hippocampal sharp wave-ripple.

Original publication




Journal article


J Neurosci

Publication Date





5979 - 5991


Animals, CA3 Region, Hippocampal, Hippocampus, In Vitro Techniques, Interneurons, Microelectrodes, Neural Inhibition, Patch-Clamp Techniques, Pyramidal Cells, Rats, Rats, Wistar, Receptors, GABA-A