Anatomical connectivity and lesion studies reveal distinct functional heterogeneity along the dorsal–ventral axis of the hippocampus. The immediate early gene Arc is known to be involved in neural plasticity and memory and can be used as a marker for cell activity that occurs, for example, when hippocampal place cells fire. We report here, that Arc is expressed in a greater proportion of cells in dorsal CA1, CA3, and dentate gyrus (DG), following spatial behavioral experiences compared to ventral hippocampal subregions (dorsal CA1 = 33%; ventral CA1 = 13%; dorsal CA3 = 23%; ventral CA3 = 8%; and dorsal DG = 2.5%; ventral DG = 1.2%). The technique used here to obtain estimates of numbers of behavior-driven cells across the dorsal–ventral axis, however, corresponds quite well with samples from available single unit recording studies. Several explanations for the two- to-threefold reduction in spatial behavior-driven cell activity in the ventral hippocampus can be offered. These include anatomical connectivity differences, differential gain of the self-motion signals that appear to alter the scale of place fields and the proportion of active cells, and possibly variations in the neuronal responses to non-spatial information within the hippocampus along its dorso-ventral axis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience