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Functional Architecture of the Rat Parasubiculum
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Researchers at the Berstein Center investigated parasubicular circuits of the rat by anatomical analysis combined with juxtacellular recording/labeling and tetrode recordings during spatial exploration. Anterograde tracing experiments showed that parasubicular neurons extend long “circumcurrent” axons establishing a “global” internal connectivity. The parasubiculum is a prime target of GABAergic and cholinergic medial septal inputs. Other input structures include the subiculum, presubiculum, and anterior thalamus. Functional analysis of identified and unidentified parasubicular neurons shows strong theta rhythmicity of spiking, a large fraction of head-direction selectivity (50%, 34 of 68), and spatial responses (grid, border and irregular spatial cells, 57%, 39 of 68). Parasubicular output preferentially targets patches of calbindin-positive pyramidal neurons in layer 2 of medial entorhinal cortex, which might be relevant for grid cell function. These findings suggest the parasubiculum might shape entorhinal theta rhythmicity and the (dorsoventral) integration of information across grid scales.

Qiusong Tang, Andrea Burgalossi, Christian Laut Ebbesen, Juan Ignacio Sanguinetti-Scheck, Helene Schmidt, John J. Tukker, Robert Naumann, Saikat Ray, Patricia Preston-Ferrer, Dietmar Schmitz, and Michael Brecht