The opioid system influences learning and memory processes. However, neural mechanisms underlying the modulation of hippocampal activity by opioid receptors remain largely unknown. Here, we compared how mu and delta receptors operate within the mouse CA1 network, and used knock-in mice expressing functional delta opioid receptors fused to the green fluorescent protein (DOR-eGFP) to determine how delta opioid receptor-expressing interneurons integrate within the hippocampal circuitry. Through whole cell patch-clamp recording of CA1 pyramidal neurons from wild-type and DOR-eGFP mice, we found that mu and delta receptors both modulate spontaneous GABAergic inhibition received by these cells. Interestingly, mu but not delta receptor activation decreased the feed-forward inhibitory input evoked by Schaffer collateral stimulation. However, mu and delta agonists modulated GABAergic feed-forward inhibition when evoked upon stimulation of the temporoammonic pathway. In addition, anterograde tracing using biotinylated dextran amine injected into the entorhinal cortex of DOR-eGFP mice suggests the existence of synaptic contacts between temporoammonic afferents and delta receptor-expressing interneurons processes in CA1. Altogether, our data demonstrate a distinct modulatory role of the hippocampal network activity by mu and delta opioid receptors, and show for the first time that delta receptor-expressing interneurons in the CA1 are recruited by the temporoammonic pathway rather than the Schaffer collateral.
Rezai, X., Kieffer, B. L., Roux, M. J., & Massotte, D. (2013). Delta opioid receptors regulate temporoammonic-activated feedforward inhibition to the mouse CA1 hippocampus. PLoS ONE, 8(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0079081