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Prog Brain Res. 2007;163:85-107.

The dentate mossy fibers: structural organization, development and plasticity.

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  • 1Anatomy and Neurobiology, Institute of Medical Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Winslowparken 21, DK-5000 Odense C, Denmark.


Hippocampal mossy fibers are the axons of the dentate granule cells and project to hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells and mossy cells of the dentate hilus (CA4) as well as a number of interneurons in the two areas. Besides their role in hippocampal function, studies of which are still evolving and taking interesting turns, the mossy fibers display a number of unique features with regard to axonal projections, terminal structures and synaptic contacts, development and variations among species and strains, as well as to normal occurring and lesion-induced plasticity and neural transplantation. These features are the topic of this review, which will use the mossy fiber system of the rat as basis and reference in its aim to provide an up-to-date, yet historically based guide to students in the field.

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