One West University Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520 | 956-882-8200

Septo-Hippocampal Pathophysiology

Dr. Luis Colom, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice President for Research
Lab: Septo-Hippocampal Pathophysiology
Office: BRHP 2.202
Office Phone: 956-882-5048
Lab Location: BRHP 2.128
Lab Phone: 956-882-5064

Research Summary

The Alzheimer’s Association reports that 5.2 million Americans are currently suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. The region of the brain called the hippocampus is the first to suffer damage. The first symptoms are usually disorientation and memory problems. It is estimated that 10 million baby boomers will develop Alzheimer’s in their lifetime.

Dr. Colom’s research interests include identifying the synaptic connections among septal neurons and the functional circuits established through these connections. Dr. Colom has also studied the mechanisms of the physiological (theta rhythm) and pathological (epilepsy) neuronal synchrony in limbic circuits. His research may result in therapeutic strategies dedicated to modulate cognitive processes and alleviate the burden of age related disorders.


  • Colom, L.V., Ford, R.D. and Bland, B.H. Hippocampal formation codes the level of activation of the cholinergic septo-hippocampal pathway. Brain Res., 410: 12-20, 1987.
  • Colom, L.V. and Bland, B.H. State dependent spike train dynamics of hippocampal formation neurons. Brain Res., 422: 277-286, 1987.
  • Bland, B.H. and Colom, L.V. Responses of phasic and tonic hippocampal theta-on cells to cholinergics: differential effects of muscarinic and nicotinic activation. Brain Res., 440: 167-171, 1988.
  • Bland, B.H., Colom, L.V., Konopacki, J. and Roth S.H. Intracellular records of carbachol-induced theta rhythm in hippocampal slices. Brain Res., 447: 364-368 1988.
  • Colom, L.V., Christie, B.R. and Bland, B.H. Cingulate cell discharge patterns related to hippocampal EEG and their modulation by muscarinic and nicotinic agents. Brain Res., 460: 329-338 (1988).
  • Ford, R.D., Colom, L.V. and Bland, B.H. The classification of medial septum-diagonal band cells as theta-on or theta-off in relation to hippocampal EEG states. Brain Res., 493: 269-282, 1989.
  • Bland, B.H. and Colom, L.V. Preliminary observations on the physiology and pharmacology of hippocampal theta-off cells. Brain Res., 505: 333-336, 1989.
  • Bland, B.H., Colom, L.V. and Ford, R.D. Responses of septal theta-on and theta-off cells to activation of the dorsomedial-posterior hypothalamic region. Brain Res. Bull., 24: 71-79, 1990.
  • Colom, L.V. and Bland, B.H. Medial septal cell Interactions in relation to hippocampal field activity and the effects of atropine. Hippocampus 1: 15-30, 1991.
  • Bland, B.H., Colom, L.V. and Mani, T.E. An improved version of a direct-drive, non-rotating manual microdrive. Brain Res. Bull., 25: 441-443, 1990.
  • Smythe, J.W., Christie, B.R., Colom, L.V., Lawson, V.H., Bland, B.H. Hippocampal theta field activity and theta-on/theta-off cell discharges are controlled by an ascending hypothalamo-septal Pathway. J. Neurosci., 11: 2241-2248, 1991.
  • Colom, L.V., Nassif-Caudarella, S., Dickson, C.T., Smythe, J.W. and Bland, B.H. In vivo intrahippocampal microinfusion of carbachol and bicuculline induces theta-like oscillations in the septally deafferented hippocampus. Hippocampus, 4: 381-390, 1991.
  • Konopacki, J., Bland, B.H., Colom, L.V. and Oddie, S.D. In vivo intracellular correlates of hippocampal formation theta-on and theta-off cells. Brain Res., 586: 247-255, 1992.
  • Smythe, J.W., Colom, L.V. and Bland, B.H. The generation of type 2 hippocampal theta depends on the coactivation of cholinergic and GABAergic medial septal inputs. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev., 16: 289-308, 1992.
  • Vertes, R.P., Colom, L.V., Fortin, W.J. and Bland, B.H. Brain stem sites for the carbachol elicitation of the hippocampal theta rhythm in the rat. Exp. Brain Res., 96: 419-429, 1993.
  • Bland, B.H. and Colom, L.V. Extrinsic and intrinsic properties underlying oscillation and synchrony in limbic cortex. Prog. Neurobiol., 41, 157-208, 1993.
  • Colom, L.V. and Saggau, P. Mapping the site of origin of spontaneous epileptiform discharges in hippocampal slices using optical recording of neural activity. J. Neurophysiol., 71: 1574-1595, 1994.
  • Oddie, S.D., Bland, B.H., Colom, L.V. and Vertes R.P. The midline posterior hypothalamic region comprises a critical part of the ascending brainstem hippocampal synchronizing pathway. Hippocampus, 4: 454-473, 1994.
  • Bland, B.H., Oddie, S.D., Colom, L.V. and Vertes R.P. The extrinsic modulation of medial septal cell discharges by the ascending brainstem hippocampal synchronizing pathway. Hippocampus, 4: 649-660, 1994.
  • Alexianu, M.E., Habib, A.M., Smith, R.G., Colom, L.V. and Appel, S.H. Immunoglobulins from patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis induce apoptosis in a hybrid motoneuron cell line. J. Neurochem., 63: 2365-2368, 1994.
  • Appel, S.H, Smith, G., Alexianu, M., Engelhardt, J., Mosier, D., Colom, L.V. and Stefani, E. Neurodegenerative disease: Autoimmunity involving calcium channels. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci., 747: 183-194, 1994.
  • Vertes, R.P., Crane, A.M., Colom, L.V. and Bland, B.H. PHA-L analysis of ascending projections from the posterior hypothalamus of the rat. J. Comp. Neurol., 359: 90-116, 1995.
  • Le, W.D., Colom L.V., Sie, W.J., Smith, R.G., La Bella, V. and Appel S.H. Apoptotic cell death induced by amyloid 1-40 in MES 23.5 hybrid cells: the role of nitric oxide and NMDA receptor activation. Brain Res., 686: 49-60, 1995.
  • La Bella, V., Alexianu, M.E., Colom, L.V., Mohamed, A.H. and Appel, S.H. Apoptosis induced by n-oxalamino-l-alanine in a motoneuron hybrid cell line. Neurosci., 70: 1039-1052, 1996.
  • Ho, B-K., Alexianu, M.E., Colom, L.V., Mohamed, A.H., Serrano, F., and Appel, S.H. Expression of calbindin-D28K in motoneuron hybrid cells following retroviral infection with calbindin-D28K cDNA prevents amyotrophic lateral sclerosis IgG mediated cytotoxicity. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 93: 6796-6801, 1996.
  • Appel, S.H, Smith, G., Alexianu, M., Engelhardt J.I, Siklos, L., Colom, L.V. and Stefani, E. Increased intracellular calcium triggered by immune mechanisms in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Clin. Neurosci., 3: 368-374, 1996.
  • Appel, S.H, Siklos, L, Alexianu, M., Colom, L.V., Ho B-H, Habib Mohamed A., Mosier D. and Smith G.R. Immune-mediated injury of motoneurons in ALS. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Progress and perspectives in basic research and clinical application. Nakano and Irano Eds., Elsevier. 184-191, 1996.
  • Smith G.R., S.H, Siklos, L, Alexianu, M., Engelhardt J.I, Mosier D., Colom, L.V., Habib Mohamed A. and Appel. Autoimmunity and ALS. Neurol., 47: (suppl. 2) S40-S46, 1996.
  • Colom, L.V., Alexianu, M.E., Mosier D.R., Smith, R.G. and Appel., S.H. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis immunoglobulins produce increases in intracellular calcium in a motoneuron cell line, Exp. Neurol., 146: 354-360, 1997.
  • Colom L.V., Neely A, Diaz M.E., Xie W.J. and Appel S.H. Modulation of septal cell activity by extracellular zinc. Neuroreport, 14: 3081-3086, 1997.
  • Colom L.V., Diaz M.E., Beers D.R., Xie W.J., Neely A. and Appel S.H. Role of potassium channels in amyloid-induced apoptotic cell death. J. Neurochem., 70: 1925-1934, 1998.
  • Bland, B.H., Oddie, S.D. and Colom, L.V. Mechanisms of neural synchrony in the septohippocampal pathway underlying hippocampal theta generation. J. Neurosci. 19: 3223-3237, 1999.
  • Hartmann H.A., Colom, L.V., Sutherland M.L. and Noebels J.F. Selective localization of cardiac Na+ channels in limbic regions of the rat brain. Nature Neurosci. 2: 593-595, 1999.
  • Betancourt L. and Colom. L.V. Potassium (K+) channel expression in basal forebrain cholinergic neurons. J. Neurosci. Res. 61: 646-651, 2000.
  • Bland B.H., Bland C.E., Colom L.V., Roth S.H., Declerk S., Dypvik A., Bird J., Deliyannides A. The effect of halothane on type 2 immobility-related hippocampal theta-field activities and theta-on/theta-off cell discharges. Hippocampus, 13: 38-47, 2003.
  • Castaneda M.T., Sanabria E.R., Hernandez S., Ayala A., Reyna T.A., Wu J.Y., Colom L.V. Glutamic acid decarboxylase isoforms are differentially distributed in the septal region of the rat. Neurosci. Res. 52:107-119, 2005.
  • Colom L.V., Castañeda, M.T., Hernández S, Sanabria E.R. Reyna T. Glutamate-immunoreactive neurons from the septal region project to the hippocampus. Synapse, 58(3):151-164, 2005.
  • Colom L.V. Septal networks: relevance to theta rhythm, epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. J Neurochem., 96(3): 609-624, 2006.
  • Colom L.V., Garcia A, Sanabria E.R., Castañeda M.T., Perez-Cordova M.G., Septo-hippocampal networks in chronically epileptic rats: potential antiepileptic effects of theta rhythm generation. J. Neurophysiol., 95(6): 3645-3653, 2006.
  • Sanabria E.R., Castañeda M.T., Banuelos C., Perez M.G., Hernandez S., Colom L.V. Septal GABAergic neurons are selectively vulnerable to pilocarpine-induced hippocampal seizures, Neuroscience, 142(3):871-883, 2007.
  • Colom L.V. and Sanabria E.R. Modulation of normal and altered excitability by septal networks, Journal of Neuroscience Research, in press.
  • Dr. Luis Colom Dr. Luis Colom
  • Observation of lab work Observation of Lab Work
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