The postsubiculum and spatial learning: the role of postsubicular synaptic activity and synaptic plasticity in hippocampal place cell, object, and object-location memory

David Bett, Cassie H. Stevenson, Kate L. Shires, Michael T. Smith, Stephen J. Martin, Paul A. Dudchenko, Emma R. Wood

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Visual landmarks exert stimulus control over spatial behavior and the spatially tuned firing of place, head-direction, and grid cells in the rodent. However, the neural site of convergence for representations of landmarks and representations of space has yet to be identified. A potential site of plasticity underlying associations with landmarks is the postsubiculum. To test this, we blocked glutamatergic transmission in the rat postsubiculum with CNQX, or NMDA receptor-dependent plasticity with d-AP5. These infusions were sufficient to block evoked potentials from the lateral dorsal thalamus and long-term depression following tetanization of this input to the postsubiculum, respectively. In a second experiment, CNQX disrupted the stability of rat hippocampal place cell fields in a familiar environment. In a novel environment, blockade of plasticity with d-AP5 in the postsubiculum did not block the formation of a stable place field map following a 6 h delay. In a final behavioral experiment, postsubicular infusions of both compounds blocked object-location memory in the rat, but did not affect object recognition memory. These results suggest that the postsubiculum is necessary for the recognition of familiar environments, and that NMDA receptor-dependent plasticity in the postsubiculum is required for the formation of new object-place associations that support recognition memory. However, plasticity in the postsubiculum is not necessary for the formation of new spatial maps.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6928-6943
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Neuroscience
    Volume33
    Issue number16
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2013

    Keywords

    • 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate/pharmacology
    • 6-Cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione/pharmacology
    • Action Potentials/drug effects
    • Animals
    • Conditioning, Operant/drug effects
    • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists/pharmacology
    • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials/drug effects
    • Exploratory Behavior/drug effects
    • Hippocampus/cytology
    • Learning/physiology
    • Male
    • Neural Pathways/drug effects
    • Neuronal Plasticity/drug effects
    • Neurons/drug effects
    • Photic Stimulation
    • Rats
    • Recognition (Psychology)
    • Spatial Behavior/drug effects
    • Visual Perception/drug effects

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