Sharp-wave ripples are transient oscillatory events in the hippocampus that are associated with the reactivation of neuronal ensembles within specific circuits during memory formation. Fast-spiking, parvalbumin-expressing interneurons (FS-PV INs) are thought to provide fast integration in these oscillatory circuits by suppressing regenerative activity in their dendrites. Here, using fast 3D two-photon imaging and a caged glutamate, we challenge this classical view by demonstrating that FS-PV IN dendrites can generate propagating Ca2+ spikes during sharp-wave ripples. The spikes originate from dendritic hot spots and are mediated dominantly by L-type Ca2+ channels. Notably, Ca2+ spikes were associated with intrinsically generated membrane potential oscillations. These oscillations required the activation of voltage-gated Na+ channels, had the same frequency as the field potential oscillations associated with sharp-wave ripples, and controlled the phase of action potentials. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that the smallest functional unit that can generate ripple-frequency oscillations is a segment of a dendrite.
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