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Keywords:

  • thalamus;
  • hippocampus;
  • monkey;
  • fornix;
  • subiculum

Abstract

The projections from the hippocampal formation to the thalamus were investigated with both anterograde and retrograde tracers. Horseradish peroxidase was injected into medial and midline thalamic sites in six cases, and tritiated amino acids were injected into the hippocampal formation in nine others, five of which had prior transections of the fornix. Only the subicular and entorhinal cortices were found to project to the thalamus. From the subicular cortex, dense bilateral projections were traced through the fornix to the anterior nuclei, while lighter fornical projections terminated in other rostral midline sites, including the nuclei reuniens, centralis latocellularis, and paraventricularis. These projections arose predominantly from the polymorphic cells which are located in the deepest cellular layers of the subiculum and prosubiculum. In addition, the subicular cortex was found to project to the nucleus lateralis dorsalis. The latter projection, which showed evidence of a crude topographic organization, ran either through the fornix or, unlike the other subicular efferents, through the sublenticular limb of the internal capsule to form part of the temporopulvinar bundle of Arnold. The nonfornical projection to the nucleus lateralis dorsalis passed through the medial pulvinar, where there was some additional termination. Few, if any, projections from the entorhinal cortex to the thalamus travelled in the fornix. Rather, the entorhinal efferents were carried in the inferior thalamic peduncle to the magnocellular portion of the nucleus medialis dorsalis, and in the internal capsule and bundle of Arnold to the medial pulvinar and the nucleus lateralis dorsalis.