Ventral hippocampal inputs preferentially drive corticocortical neurons in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex

Xingchen Liu, Adam G. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inputs from the ventral hippocampus (vHPC) to the prefrontal cortex (PFC) play a key role in working memory and emotional control. However, little is known about how excitatory inputs from the vHPC engage different populations of neurons in the PFC. Here we use optogenetics and whole-cell recordings to study the cell-type specificity of synaptic connections in acute slices from the mouse PFC. We first show that vHPC inputs target pyramidal neurons whose cell bodies are located in layer (L)2/3 and L5 of infralimbic (IL) PFC, but only in L5 of prelimbic (PL) PFC, and not L6 of either IL or PL. We then compare connections onto different classes of projection neurons located in these layers and subregions of PFC. We establish vHPC inputs similarly contact corticocortical (CC) and cortico-amygdala neurons in L2/3 of IL, but preferentially target CC neurons over cortico-pontine neurons in L5 of both IL and PL. Of all these neurons, we determine that vHPC inputs are most effective at driving action potential (AP) firing of CC neurons in L5 of IL. We also show this connection exhibits frequency-dependent facilitation, with repetitive activity enhancing AP firing of IL L5 CC neurons, even in the presence of feedforward inhibition. Our findings reveal how vHPC inputs engage defined populations of projection neurons in the PFC, allowing preferentially activation of the intratelencephalic network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7351-7363
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 15 2018


  • Circuit
  • Hippocampus
  • Interneuron
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Projection neuron
  • Synapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Ventral hippocampal inputs preferentially drive corticocortical neurons in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this