Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurosci. 2016 Sep 7;36(36):9365-74. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1099-16.2016.

A Corticocortical Circuit Directly Links Retrosplenial Cortex to M2 in the Mouse.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology and yamawakn@gmail.com gmgshepherd@gmail.com.
2
Department of Psychology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 60611.

Abstract

Retrosplenial cortex (RSC) is a dorsomedial parietal area involved in a range of cognitive functions, including episodic memory, navigation, and spatial memory. Anatomically, the RSC receives inputs from dorsal hippocampal networks and in turn projects to medial neocortical areas. A particularly prominent projection extends rostrally to the posterior secondary motor cortex (M2), suggesting a functional corticocortical link from the RSC to M2 and thus a bridge between hippocampal and neocortical networks involved in mnemonic and sensorimotor aspects of navigation. We investigated the cellular connectivity in this RSC→M2 projection in the mouse using optogenetic photostimulation, retrograde labeling, and electrophysiology. Axons from RSC formed monosynaptic excitatory connections onto M2 pyramidal neurons across layers and projection classes, including corticocortical/intratelencephalic neurons (reciprocally and callosally projecting) in layers 2-6, pyramidal tract neurons (corticocollicular, corticopontine) in layer 5B, and, to a lesser extent, corticothalamic neurons in layer 6. In addition to these direct connections, disynaptic connections were made via posterior parietal cortex (RSC→PPC→M2) and anteromedial thalamus (RSC→AM→M2). In the reverse direction, axons from M2 monosynaptically excited M2-projecting corticocortical neurons in the RSC, especially in the superficial layers of the dysgranular region. These findings establish an excitatory RSC→M2 corticocortical circuit that engages diverse types of excitatory projection neurons in the downstream area, suggesting a basis for direct communication from dorsal hippocampal networks involved in spatial memory and navigation to neocortical networks involved in diverse aspects of sensorimotor integration and motor control.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT:

Corticocortical pathways interconnect cortical areas extensively, but the cellular connectivity in these pathways remains largely uncharacterized. Here, we show that a posterior part of secondary motor cortex receives corticocortical axons from the rostral retrosplenial cortex (RSC) and these form monosynaptic excitatory connections onto a wide spectrum of excitatory projection neurons in this area. Our results define a cellular basis for direct communication from RSC to this medial frontal area, suggesting a direct link from dorsal hippocampal networks involved in spatial cognition and navigation (the "map") to sensorimotor networks involved the control of movement (the "motor").

KEYWORDS:

circuit; motor; neocortex; optogenetic; retrosplenial

PMID:
27605612
PMCID:
PMC5013186
DOI:
10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1099-16.2016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center