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Fan Cells in Layer 2 of the Lateral Entorhinal Cortex Are Critical for Episodic-like Memory

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Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume30
Issue number1
Early online date12 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2020

Abstract

Episodic memory requires different types of information to be bound together to generate representations of experiences. The lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) and hippocampus are required for episodic-like memory in rodents [1, 2]. The LEC is critical for integrating spatial and contextual information about objects [2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Further, LEC neurons encode objects in the environment and the locations where objects were previously experienced and generate representations of time during the encoding and retrieval of episodes [7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. However, it remains unclear how specific populations of cells within the LEC contribute to the integration of episodic memory components. Layer 2 (L2) of LEC manifests early pathology in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related animal models [13, 14, 15, 16]. Projections to the hippocampus from L2 of LEC arise from fan cells in a superficial sub-layer (L2a) that are immunoreactive for reelin and project to the dentate gyrus [17, 18]. Here, we establish an approach for selectively targeting fan cells using Sim1:Cre mice. Whereas complete lesions of the LEC were previously found to abolish associative recognition memory [2, 3], we report that, after selective suppression of synaptic output from fan cells, mice can discriminate novel object-context configurations but are impaired in recognition of novel object-place-context associations. Our results suggest that memory functions are segregated between distinct LEC networks.

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