Rhythmic theta frequency (~5-12 Hz) oscillations coordinate neuronal synchrony and higher frequency oscillations across the cortex. Spatial navigation and context-dependent episodic memories are represented in several interconnected regions including the hippocampal and entorhinal cortices, but the cellular mechanisms for their dynamic coupling remain to be defined. Using monosynaptically-restricted retrograde viral tracing in mice, we identified a subcortical GABAergic input from the medial septum that terminated in the entorhinal cortex, with collaterals innervating the dorsal presubiculum. Extracellularly recording and labeling GABAergic entorhinal-projecting neurons in awake behaving mice show that these subcortical neurons, named orchid cells, fire in long rhythmic bursts during immobility and locomotion. Orchid cells discharge near the peak of hippocampal and entorhinal theta oscillations, couple to entorhinal gamma oscillations, and target subpopulations of extra-hippocampal GABAergic interneurons. Thus, orchid cells are a specialized source of rhythmic subcortical GABAergic modulation of 'upstream' and 'downstream' cortico-cortical circuits involved in mnemonic functions.
GABAergic neurons, entorhinal cortex, gamma oscillations, inhibition, medial septum, mouse, neuroscience, theta oscillations