Development of entorhinal-hippocampal space circuit

Edvard Moser

Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience / Centre for Neural Computation
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

The medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) is part of the brain’s circuit for dynamic representation of self-location. In this lecture, I will present data pointing to some of the mechanisms underlying the early development of the entorhinal-hippocampal space circuit. To determine how this network is set up during early postnatal development, we have monitored markers of structural maturation in developing mice, both in naïve animals and after temporally restricted pharmacogenetic silencing of specific cell populations. I will show that entorhinal stellate cells provide an activity-dependent instructive signal that drives maturation sequentially and unidirectionally through the intrinsic circuits of the entorhinal-hippocampal network. The findings raise the possibility that a small number of autonomously developing neuronal populations operate as intrinsic drivers of maturation across widespread regions of cortex.