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J Comp Neurol. 1986 Oct 1;252(1):1-31.

Connections of the parahippocampal cortex in the cat. III. Cortical and thalamic efferents.


To study the distribution of the cortical and thalamic efferent projections from the parahippocampal cortex in the cat, a series of injections of anterogradely transported radioactively labeled amino acids were placed in different parts of the entorhinal and perirhinal cortices. Subsequently, some of the identified cortical and thalamic target areas were injected with retrograde tracers such as wheat germ-agglutinin conjugated with horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) or with a fluorescent tracer--fast blue or nuclear yellow--in order to disclose the laminar origin of the parahippocampal efferent projections. The results indicate that the parahippocampal cortex gives rise to widespread projections to the association cortex, and, to a lesser extent, sends fibers to the limbic cortex and the primary sensory cortex. These projections arise mainly from the deep layers of the parahippocampal cortex and terminate predominantly in superficial layers of the cortex, with a preference for layer I. Within the cortical projections a medial-to-lateral topography could be observed such that the entorhinal cortex projects predominantly to the allocortical and periallocortical limbic areas, including parts of the subicular complex, the ventral retrosplenial and the infralimbic cortices, and olfactory related areas--i.e., the olfactory bulb, the anterior olfactory nucleus, the prepiriform cortex, and the ventral tenia tecta. The more lateral parts of the parahippocampal cortex, which surround the posterior rhinal sulcus, project in addition to extensive parts of the paralimbic association cortex that include the proisocortical cingular, prelimbic, orbitofrontal, and agranular and granular insular cortices. The most lateral portion of the parahippocampal cortex, the perirhinal cortex, furthermore issues projections to widespread neocortical areas on the lateral and medial aspects of the hemisphere that constitute part of the parasensory association cortex. Weak-to-moderate projections are found to the cortex of the middle suprasylvian and anterior ectosylvian sulci, as well as the cruciate and splenial sulci, all of which have been reported to constitute sensory convergence areas. The most marked projections from the perirhinal cortex reach a zone of neocortex directly lateral to the perirhinal cortex including ventral parts of the posterior sylvian, posterior ectosylvian, posterior suprasylvian, and lateral gyri. These projections appear to be topographically organized such that rostral parts of the perirhinal cortex project more rostrally, and more caudal parts of the perirhinal cortex project to more caudal parts of this cortical zone.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

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