• hippocampal region;
  • parahippocampal region;
  • limbic cortex;
  • subicular cortex


The regional and laminar organization of the projections from the presubiculum and the parasubiculum to the entorhinal cortex was analyzed in the rat with the anterograde tracer Phaseolus vulgaris-leucoagglutinin (PHA-L). The projections from the presubiculum were bilateral and confined to layers III and I of the medial entorhinal area (MEA). Both the ipsi- and the contralateral projections showed similar distributions and were almost of equal density. Projections to layer III of the entorhinal cortex arose predominantly from superficial layers of the presubiculum, whereas the fibers that reach layer I of the entorhinal cortex appear to originate preferentially from the deep layers of the presubiculum. These fibers also appeared to innervate weakly layer II of MEA. The parasubiculum distributed projections not only to MEA but also to the lateral entorhinal area (LEA), innervating layer II selectively. The innervation of LEA was quite dense and extensive. Very weak projections from the parasubiculum to the contralateral entorhinal cortex were observed in this study.

The position of the terminal plexus in the entorhinal cortex was determined by the point of origin along both the dorsoventral and transverse or proximodistal axes of the presubiculum and parasubiculum. Projections from the presubiculum and parasubiculum entered the entorhinal cortex at the level of the injection, or slightly ventral to it, and the main terminal field was always present ventrally to the injection site. The dorsoventral axis of origin thus corresponded to a similarly oriented axis of termination in the entorhinal cortex. The distribution in relation to the origin along the transverse axis was more complex, and differences between the presubiculum and parasubiculum were present. The proximal presubiculum, i.e., the part closest to the subiculum, projected to the most lateral part of MEA and the central part of the presubiculum sent fibers to the most medial part of MEA. The distal part of the presubiculum, i.e., the part that borders the parasubiculum, projected to the central part of MEA. Projections from the portion of the parasubiculum directly adjacent to the presubiculum, the so-called proximal parasubiculum, reached medial parts of MEA, and those originating in the central part distributed preferentially to lateral parts of MEA and adjacent medial parts of LEA. The distal part of the parasubiculum that borders the entorhinal cortex projected mainly to almost the full mediolateral extent of LEA.

The regional and laminar organizations of the projections from the presubiculum and parasubiculum to the entorhinal cortex suggest that information is selectively conveyed not only to different cell layers but also to restricted dorsoventral and mediolateral parts of the entorhinal cortex. © 1993 Wiley-Liss, Inc.