Mossy cells in the hilus of the dentate gyrus constitute a major excitatory principal cell type in the mammalian hippocampus, however, it remains unknown how these cells behave in vivo. Here, we have used two-photon Ca2+ imaging to monitor the activity of mossy cells in awake, behaving mice. We find that mossy cells are significantly more active than dentate granule cells in vivo, exhibit significant spatial tuning during head-fixed spatial navigation, and undergo robust remapping of their spatial representations in response to contextual manipulation. Our results provide the first characterization of mossy cells in the behaving animal and demonstrate their active participation in spatial coding and contextual representation.
Region(s) or Organism(s): Dentate gyrus
Model Concept(s): Pattern Separation