The parvalbumin (PV)-positive neurons in the medial septum-diagonal band of Broca complex (MS-DB) play an important role in the generation of hippocampal theta rhythm involved in cognitive functions. These neurons in this region express a high density of 5-HT1A receptors which regulate the neuronal activity and consequently affect the theta rhythm. In this study, we examined changes in the theta-related firing activity of PV-positive neurons in the MS-DB, their response to 5-HT1A receptor stimulation and the corresponding hippocampal theta rhythm, and the density of PV-positive neurons and their co-localization with 5-HT1A receptors in rats with 6-hydroxydopamine lesions of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). The lesion of the SNc decreased the rhythmically bursting activity of PV-positive neurons and the peak frequency of hippocampal theta rhythm. Systemic administration of 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-OH-DPAT (0.5–128 µg/kg, i.v.) inhibited the firing rate of PV-positive neurons and disrupted rhythmically bursting activity of the neurons and the theta rhythm in sham-operated and the lesioned rats, respectively. The cumulative doses producing inhibition and disruption in the lesioned rats were higher than that of sham-operated rats. Furthermore, local application of 8-OH-DPAT (0.005 μg) in the MS-DB also inhibited the firing rate of PV-positive neurons and disrupted their rhythmically bursting activity in sham-operated rats, while having no effect on PV-positive neurons in the lesioned rats. The lesion of the SNc decreased the density of PV-positive neurons in the MS-DB, and percentage of PV-positive neurons expressing 5-HT1A receptors. These results indicate that the lesion of the SNc leads to suppression of PV-positive neurons in the MS-DB and hippocampal theta rhythm. Furthermore, the lesion decreases the response of these neurons to 5-HT1A receptor stimulation, which attributes to dysfunction and/or down-regulation of 5-HT1A receptor expression on these neurons. These changes may be involved in cognitive impairments of Parkinson's disease. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.