Connections between the retrosplenial cortex and the hippocampal formation in the rat: A review

Authors

  • J. Michael Wyass,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Cell Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, UAB Station, Birmingham, AL 35294 U.S.A.
    • Department of Cell Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, UAB Station Box VH 302, Birmingham, AL 35294 U.S.A.
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  • Thomas Van Groen

    1. Department of Cell Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, UAB Station, Birmingham, AL 35294 U.S.A.
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Abstract

The retrosplenial cortex is situated at the crossroads between the hippocampal formation and many areas of the neocortex, but few studies have examined the connections between the hippocampal formation and the retrosplenial cortex in detail. Each subdivision of the retrosplenial cortex projects to a discrete terminal field in the hippocampal formation. The retrosplenial dysgranular cortex (Rdg) projects to the postsubiculum, caudal parts of parasubiculum, caudal and lateral parts of the entorhinal cortex, and the perirhinal cortex. The retrosplenial granular b cortex (Rgb) projects only to the postsubiculum, but the retrosplenial granular a cortex (Rga) projects to the postsubiculum, rostral presubiculum, parasubiculum, and caudal medial entorhinal cortex. Reciprocating projections from the hippocampal formation to Rdg originate in septal parts of CA1, postsubiculum, and caudal parts of the entorhinal cortex, but these are only sparse projections. In contrast, Rgb and Rga receive dense projections from the hippocampal formation. The hippocampal projection to Rgb originates in area CA1, dorsal (septal) subiculum, and postsubiculum. Conversely, Rga is innervated by ventral (temporal) subiculum and postsubiculum. Further, the connections between the retrosplenial cortex and the hippocampal formation are topographically organized. Rostral retrosplenial cortex is connected primarily to the septal (rostrodorsal) hippocampal formation, while caudal parts of the retrosplenial cortex are connected with temporal (caudoventral) areas of the hippocampal formation. Together, the elaborate connections between the retrosplenial cortex and the hippocampal formation suggest that this projection provides an important pathway by which the hippocampus affects learning, memory, and emotional behavior.

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