In vitro hippocampal gamma oscillation power as an index of in vivo CA3 gamma oscillation strength and spatial reference memory.
Lu CB., Jefferys JG., Toescu EC., Vreugdenhil M.
Neuronal synchronisation at gamma frequencies (30-100 Hz) has been implicated in cognition and memory. Gamma oscillations can be studied in various in vitro models, but their in vivo validity and their relationship with reference memory remains to be proven. By using the natural variation of wild type C57bl/6J mice, we assessed the relationships between reference memory and gamma oscillations recorded in hippocampal area CA3 in vivo and in vitro. Local field potentials (LFPs) were recorded from area CA3 in behaviourally-characterised freely moving mice, after which hippocampal slices were prepared for recordings in vitro of spontaneous gamma oscillations and kainate-induced gamma oscillations in CA3. The gamma-band power of spontaneous oscillations in vitro correlated with that of CA3 LFP oscillations during inactive behavioural states. The gamma-band power of kainate-induced oscillations correlated with the activity-dependent increase in CA3 LFP gamma-band power in vivo. Kainate-induced gamma-band power correlated with Barnes circular platform performance and object location recognition, but not with object novelty recognition. Kainate-induced gamma-band power was larger in mice that recognised the aversive context, but did not correlate with passive avoidance delay. The correlations between behavioural and electrophysiological measures obtained from the same animals show that the gamma-generating capacity of the CA3 network in vitro is a useful index of in vivo gamma strength and supports an important role of CA3 gamma oscillations in spatial reference memory.