The Theta Rhythm of the Hippocampus: From Neuronal and Circuit Mechanisms to Behavior

Author: Angel Nuñez1, Washington Buño2
1 Departamento de Anatomía, Histología y Neurociencia, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
2 Instituto Cajal, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Madrid, Spain.
Conference/Journal: Front Cell Neurosci
Date published: 2021 Mar 4
Other: Volume ID: 15 , Pages: 649262 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3389/fncel.2021.649262. , Word Count: 147

This review focuses on the neuronal and circuit mechanisms involved in the generation of the theta (θ) rhythm and of its participation in behavior. Data have accumulated indicating that θ arises from interactions between medial septum-diagonal band of Broca (MS-DbB) and intra-hippocampal circuits. The intrinsic properties of MS-DbB and hippocampal neurons have also been shown to play a key role in θ generation. A growing number of studies suggest that θ may represent a timing mechanism to temporally organize movement sequences, memory encoding, or planned trajectories for spatial navigation. To accomplish those functions, θ and gamma (γ) oscillations interact during the awake state and REM sleep, which are considered to be critical for learning and memory processes. Further, we discuss that the loss of this interaction is at the base of various neurophatological conditions.

Keywords: NMDA; cholinergic input; diagonal band of Broca; gamma oscillations; hippocampal neurons; medial septum.

PMID: 33746716 PMCID: PMC7970048 DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2021.649262