Differential effects of age on subpopulations of hippocampal theta cells

Sheri J.Y. Mizumori, Carol A. Barnes, Bruce L. McNaughton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The possible contribution of age-related changes in the firing properties of hippocampal theta cells to spatial learning deficits was addressed in the present study. The behavioral correlates of theta cells in strata oriens, pyramidale, and granulosum were compared as young and old rats performed a radial maze spatial working memory task. Behaviorally, the old animals made significantly more errors on the maze and required more time to solve the task than did young animals. Firing rates were compared in four different locomotion states: still, running radially inward and radially outward, and forwadd motion. The discharge rates of theta cells in strata pyramidale and granulosum were significantly modulated by these movements in both age groups. Stratum oriens theta cells recorded from young animals, on the other hand, were not movement-sensitive, while similar cells from old animals demonstrated exaggerated responses to movement. In old animals, the mean discharge rates were higher in stratum granulosum and lower in stratum oriens than in the young rats. The discharge rates of cells in stratum pyramidale did not differ between age groups. These region specific changes in the firing characteristics of hippocampal theta cells are likely to have important consequences for information processing in this structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-679
Number of pages7
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1992


  • GABA
  • Interneurons
  • Single units
  • Spatial learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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