Theses Doctoral

The Role of the Ventral Hippocampus in Anxiety-Related Behavior

Jimenez, Jessica

The hippocampus is traditionally thought to transmit contextual information to limbic structures where it acquires valence. Using freely moving calcium imaging and optogenetics, we show that while the dorsal CA1 subregion of the hippocampus is enriched in place cells, ventral CA1 (vCA1) is enriched in anxiety cells that are both activated by anxiogenic environments and required for avoidance behavior. Imaging cells defined by their projection target revealed that anxiety cells were enriched in the vCA1 population projecting to the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA), but not to the basal amygdala (BA). Consistent with this selectivity, optogenetic activation of vCA1 terminals in LHA, but not BA increased anxiety and avoidance, while activation of terminals in BA, but not LHA impaired contextual fear memory. Thus, the hippocampus encodes not only neutral but also valence-related contextual information, and the vCA1-LHA pathway is a direct route by which the hippocampus can influence innate anxiety behavior.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Neurobiology and Behavior
Thesis Advisors
Hen, Rene
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
December 12, 2017