Generation of sharp wave-ripple events by disinhibition


  • R. Evangelista
  • G. Cano
  • C. Cooper
  • D. Schmitz
  • N. Maier
  • R. Kempter


  • Journal of Neuroscience


  • J Neurosci 40 (41): 7811-7836


  • Sharp wave-ripple complexes (SWRs) are hippocampal network phenomena involved in memory consolidation. To date, the mechanisms underlying their occurrence remain obscure. Here, we show how the interactions between pyramidal cells, parvalbumin-positive (PV(+)) basket cells, and an unidentified class of anti-SWR interneurons can contribute to the initiation and termination of SWRs. Using a biophysically constrained model of a network of spiking neurons and a rate-model approximation, we demonstrate that SWRs emerge as a result of the competition between two interneuron populations and the resulting disinhibition of pyramidal cells. Our models explain how the activation of pyramidal cells or PV(+) cells can trigger SWRs, as shown in vitro, and suggests that PV(+) cell-mediated short-term synaptic depression influences the experimentally reported dynamics of SWR events. Furthermore, we predict that the silencing of anti-SWR interneurons can trigger SWRs. These results broaden our understanding of the microcircuits supporting the generation of memory-related network dynamics. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: The hippocampus is a part of the mammalian brain that is crucial for episodic memories. During periods of sleep and inactive waking, the extracellular activity of the hippocampus is dominated by sharp wave-ripple events (SWRs), which have been shown to be important for memory consolidation. The mechanisms regulating the emergence of these events are still unclear. We developed a computational model to study the emergence of SWRs and to explain the roles of different cell types in regulating them. The model accounts for several previously unexplained features of SWRs and thus advances the understanding of memory-related dynamics.