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Pyramidal neurons in the superficial layers of rat retrosplenial cortex exhibit a late-spiking firing property.

Tohru Kurotani, Toshio Miyashita, Marie Wintzer, Tomokazu Konishi, Kazuhisa Sakai, Noritaka Ichinohe, Kathleen S Rockland

Brain Struct Funct, 2013 Jan , 218, 239-54

The rodent granular retrosplenial cortex (GRS) is reciprocally connected with the hippocampus. It is part of several networks implicated in spatial learning and memory, and is known to contain head-direction cells. There are, however, few specifics concerning the mechanisms and microcircuitry underlying its involvement in spatial and mnemonic functions. In this report, we set out to characterize intrinsic properties of a distinctive population of small pyramidal neurons in layer 2 of rat GRS. These neurons, as well as those in adjoining layer 3, were found to exhibit a late-spiking (LS) firing property. We established by multiple criteria that the LS property is a consequence of delayed rectifier and A-type potassium channels. These were identified as Kv1.1, Kv1.4 and Kv4.3 by Genechip analysis, in situ hybridization, single-cell reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and pharmacological blockade. The LS property might facilitate comparison or integration of synaptic inputs during an interval delay, consistent with the proposed role of the GRS in memory-related processes.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22383041