Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 24198366
J. Neurosci. 2013 Nov;33(45):17749-62
Episodic memory deficit is a common cognitive disorder in human temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). However, no animal model of TLE has been shown to specifically replicate this cognitive dysfunction, which has limited its translational appeal. Here, using a task that tests for nonverbal correlates of episodic-like memory in rats, we show that kainate-treated TLE rats exhibit a selective impairment of the “what-where-when” memory while preserving other forms of hippocampal-dependent memories. Assisted by multisite silicon probes, we recorded from the dorsal hippocampus of behaving animals to control for seizure-related factors and to look for electrophysiological signatures of cognitive impairment. Analyses of hippocampal local field potentials showed that both the power of theta rhythm and its coordination across CA1 and the DG-measured as theta coherence and phase locking-were selectively disrupted. This disruption represented a basal condition of the chronic epileptic hippocampus that was linked to different features of memory impairment. Theta power was more correlated with the spatial than with the temporal component of the task, while measures of theta coordination correlated with the temporal component. We conclude that episodic-like memory, as tested in the what-where-when task, is specifically affected in experimental TLE and that the impairment of hippocampal theta activity might be central to this dysfunction.