Neurochemical Research

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 27–40 | Cite as

Modulatory Effects of Perineuronal Oligodendrocytes on Neuronal Activity in the Rat Hippocampus

  • Yoshihiko YamazakiEmail author
  • Yasukazu Hozumi
  • Kenya Kaneko
  • Satoshi Fujii
Original Paper


Action potentials are fundamental to relaying information from region to region in the nervous system. Changes in action potential firing patterns in neural circuits influence how the brain processes information. In our previous study, we focused on interneuron/perineuronal astrocyte pairs in the hippocampal CA1 region and reported that direct depolarization of perineuronal astrocytes modulated the firing pattern of interneurons. In the current study, we investigated the morphological and electrophysiological properties of perineuronal oligodendrocytes, and examined their modulatory effects on interneuronal firing in the CA1 region. Perineuronal oligodendrocytes only had a few processes, which were crooked, intricately twisted, and twined around the soma and proximal region of the main processes of adjacent interneurons. Whole-cell current patterns of perineuronal oligodendrocytes were homogenous and the current–voltage relationship showed remarkable outward rectification. Although the K+ channel blockers, tetraethylammonium and 4-aminopyridine, clearly blocked outward currents, Ba2+ did not significantly alter whole-cell currents. Unlike perineuronal astrocytes, the depolarization of perineuronal oligodendrocytes had no effect on interneuronal firing; however, when the interneurons were firing at a higher frequency, the hyperpolarization of perineuronal oligodendrocytes suppressed their action potentials. The suppressive effects of perineuronal oligodendrocytes were inhibited in the presence of a low concentration of tetraethylammonium, which selectively blocked deep and fast afterhyperpolarization. These results suggest that perineuronal oligodendrocytes suppress interneuronal firing through their influence on K+ channels, which are responsible for deep and fast afterhyperpolarization.


Oligodendrocyte Perineuronal glial cell Hippocampus Afterhyperpolarization 



This research was supported by JSPS KAKENHI [Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovation Areas “Glial assembly: a new regulatory machinery of brain function and disorders” (Grant Number 25117005) and Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) (Grant Number 16K01943)].

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All animal procedures were conducted in accordance with the National Institutes of Health Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and were approved by the Committee for Animal Experimentation of Yamagata University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshihiko Yamazaki
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yasukazu Hozumi
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kenya Kaneko
    • 1
  • Satoshi Fujii
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyYamagata University School of MedicineYamagataJapan
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy & Cell BiologyYamagata University School of MedicineYamagataJapan
  3. 3.Department of Cell Biology and MorphologyAkita University Graduate School of MedicineAkitaJapan

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