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Anat Embryol (Berl). 1993 Aug;188(2):107-15.

Zinc-positive afferents to the rat septum originate from distinct subpopulations of zinc-containing neurons in the hippocampal areas and layers. A combined fluoro-gold tracing and histochemical study.

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PharmaBiotec, University of Odense, Denmark.


The purpose of the present study was to examine whether zinc-positive and zinc-negative hippocampal neurons in rats differed with respect to their projections to the septum. By combining retrograde axonal transport of the fluorescent tracer Fluoro-Gold with histochemical demonstration of zinc selenide complexes in zinc-containing neurons after intraperitoneal injection of sodium selenite, we were able to visualize the distribution of retrogradely Fluoro-Gold labeled neurons and zinc-containing neurons in the same sections. After unilateral injection of Fluoro-Gold into the rat septum a few retrogradely labeled cells were observed in layer IV of the ipsilateral medial entorhinal area, and numerous labeled cells were observed mainly in the superficial layers of the ipsilateral subicular areas and throughout the CA1 and CA3 pyramidal cell layers, as well as in the contralateral CA3 pyramidal cell layer. Zinc-containing neurons were observed in layers IV-VI of the medial entorhinal area, layers II and III of the parasubiculum, layers II, III and V of presubiculum, and in the superficial CA1 and deep CA3 pyramidal cell layers. Cells double-labeled with Fluoro-Gold and zinc selenide complexes were primarily located in distal (relative to the area dentata) parts of the superficial CA1 pyramidal cell layer and distal parts of the deep CA3 pyramidal cell layer and in layers II and III of presubiculum. Only a very few double-labeled cells were seen in the contralateral CA3. The result demonstrates that the hippocampo-septal projection of rats is a mixture of zinc-positive and zinc-negative fibers.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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