Coordinated Interaction between Hippocampal Sharp-Wave Ripples and Anterior Cingulate Unit Activity

Dong V Wang, Satoshi Ikemoto
Journal of Neuroscience 2016 October 12, 36 (41): 10663-10672

Hippocampal-cortical interaction during sleep promotes transformation of memory for long-term storage in the cortex. In particular, hippocampal sharp-wave ripple-associated neural activation is important for this transformation during slow-wave sleep. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) has been shown to be crucial for expression and likely storage of long-term memory. However, little is known about how ACC activity is influenced by hippocampal ripple activity during sleep. We report here about coordinated interactions between hippocampal ripple activity and ACC neural firings. By recording from the ACC and hippocampal CA1 simultaneously in mice, we found that almost all ACC neurons showed increased activity before hippocampal ripple activity; moreover, a subpopulation (17%) displayed a further activation immediately after ripple activity. This postripple activation of ACC neurons correlated positively with ripple amplitude, and the same neurons were excited upon electrical stimulation of the CA1. Interestingly, the preripple activation of ACC neurons was present during the sleep state, but not during the awake state. These results suggest intimate interactions between hippocampal sharp-wave ripples and ACC neurons in a state-dependent manner. Importantly, sharp-wave ripples and associated activation appear to regulate activity of a small population of ACC neurons, a process that may play a critical role in memory consolidation.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: The hippocampus communicates with the cortex for memory transformation. Memories of previous experiences become less dependent on the hippocampus and increasingly dependent on cortical areas, such as the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). However, little evidence is available to directly support this hippocampus-to-cortex information transduction hypothesis of memory consolidation. Here we show that a subpopulation of ACC neurons becomes active just after hippocampal ripple activity, and that electrical stimulation of the hippocampus excites the same ACC neurons. In addition, the majority of ACC neurons are activated just before ripple activity during the sleep state, but not during the awake state. These results provide evidence supporting the hypothesis of hippocampus-to-cortex information flow for memory consolidation as well as reciprocal interaction between the hippocampus and the cortex.

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