Topographic distribution of direct and hippocampus-mediated entorhinal cortex activity evoked by olfactory tract stimulation

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Olfactory information is central for memory-related functions, such as recognition and spatial orientation. To understand the role of olfaction in learning and memory, the distribution and propagation of olfactory tract-driven activity in the parahippocampal region needs to be characterized. We recently demonstrated that repetitive stimulation of the olfactory tract in the isolated guinea pig brain preparation induces an early direct activation of the rostrolateral entorhinal region followed by a delayed response in the medial entorhinal cortex (EC), preceded by the interposed activation of the hippocampus. In the present study we performed a detailed topographic analysis of both the early and the delayed entorhinal responses induced by patterned stimulation of the lateral olfactory tract in the isolated guinea pig brain. Bi-dimensional maps of EC activity recorded at 128 recording sites with 4 × 4 matrix electrodes (410 μm interlead separation) sequentially placed in eight different positions, showed (i) an early (onset at 16.09 ± 1.2 ms) low amplitude potential mediated by the monosynaptic LOT input, followed by (ii) an associative potential in the rostral EC which originates from the piriform cortex (onset at 33.2 ± 2.3 ms), and (iii) a delayed potential dependent on the previous activation of the hippocampus. The sharp component of the delayed response had an onset latency between 52 and 63 ms and was followed by a slow wave. Laminar profile analysis demonstrated that in the caudomedial EC the delayed response was associated with two distinct current sinks located in deep and in superficial layers, whereas in the rostrolateral EC a small-amplitude sink could be detected in the superficial layers exclusively. The present report demonstrates that the output generated by the hippocampal activation is unevenly distributed across different EC subregions and indicates that exclusively the medial and caudal divisions receive a deep-layer input from the hippocampus. In the rostrolateral EC, specific network interactions may be generated by the convergence of the direct olfactory input and the olfaction-driven hippocampal output.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1897-1905
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2004


  • Current-source density
  • Entorhinal
  • Hippocampus
  • Isolated guinea pig brain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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