Impaired hippocampal representation of space in CA1-specific NMDAR1 knockout mice

Thomas J. McHugh, Kenneth I. Blum, Joe Z. Tsien, Susumu Tonegawa, Matthew A. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

323 Scopus citations


To investigate the role of synaptic plasticity in the place-specific firing of the hippocampus, we have applied multiple electrode recording techniques to freely behaving mice with a CA1 pyramidal cell-specific knockout of the NMDAR1 gene. We have discovered that although the CA1 pyramidal cells of these mice retain place-related activity, there is a significant decrease in the spatial specificity of individual place fields. We have also found a striking deficit in the coordinated firing of pairs of neurons tuned to similar spatial locations. Pairs have uncorrelated firing even if their fields overlap. These results demonstrate that NMDA receptor- mediated synaptic plasticity is necessary for the proper representation of space in the CA1 region of the hippocampus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1339-1349
Number of pages11
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 27 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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