The study of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus has focused on the use of the CA3-CA1 lamellar network. Less attention has been given to the longitudinal interlamellar CA1-CA1 network. Recently however, an associational connection between CA1-CA1 pyramidal neurons has been shown. Therefore, there is the need to investigate whether the longitudinal interlamellar CA1-CA1 network of the hippocampus supports synaptic plasticity.
We designed a protocol to investigate the presence or absence of long-term synaptic plasticity in the interlamellar hippocampal CA1 network using electrophysiological field recordings both in vivo and in vitro. For in vivo extracellular field recordings, the recording and stimulation electrodes were placed in a septal-temporal axis of the dorsal hippocampus at a longitudinal angle, to evoke field excitatory postsynaptic potentials. For in vitro extracellular field recordings, hippocampal longitudinal slices were cut parallel to the septal-temporal plane. Recording and stimulation electrodes were placed in the stratum oriens (S.O) and the stratum radiatum (S.R) of the hippocampus along the longitudinal axis. This enabled us to investigate the directional and layer specificity of evoked excitatory postsynaptic potentials. Already established protocols were used to induce long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) both in vivo and in vitro. Our results demonstrated that the longitudinal interlamellar CA1 network supports N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) with no directional or layer specificity. The interlamellar network, however, in contrast to the transverse lamellar network, did not present with any significant long-term depression (LTD).