The entorhinal cortex of the mouse: organization of the projection to the hippocampal formation

Hippocampus. 2003;13(1):133-49. doi: 10.1002/hipo.10037.


The origin and the terminations of the projections from the entorhinal cortex to the hippocampal formation of the mouse (C57BL/6J strain) have been studied using anterogradely and retrogradely transported tracers. The entorhinal cortex is principally divided into two areas, the lateral entorhinal area (LEA) and the medial entorhinal area (MEA). LEA is the origin of the lateral perforant path that terminates in the outer one-third of the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus, and MEA is the origin of the medial perforant path that ends in the middle one-third of the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus. This projection is mostly to the ispsilateral dentate gyrus; only a few labeled axons and terminals are found in the contralateral dentate gyrus. The projection to the dentate gyrus originates predominantly from neurons in layer II of the entorhinal cortex. The entorhinal cortex also projects to CA3 and CA1 and to subiculum; in both CA3 and CA1, the terminals are present in stratum lacunosum-moleculare, whereas in the subiculum the terminals are in the outer part of the molecular layer. The projection from the entorhinal cortex to CA3, CA1, and subiculum is bilateral, and it originates predominantly from neurons in layer III, but a small number of neurons in the deeper layers of the entorhinal cortex contributes to this projection. The projection of entorhinal cortex to the hippocampus is topographically organized, neurons in the lateral part of both LEA and MEA project to the dorsal part (i.e., septal pole) of the hippocampus, whereas the projection to the ventral (i.e., temporal pole) hippocampus originates from neurons in medial parts of the entorhinal cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport / physiology
  • Biotin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Dentate Gyrus / cytology*
  • Dentate Gyrus / physiology
  • Dextrans
  • Entorhinal Cortex / cytology*
  • Entorhinal Cortex / physiology
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Perforant Pathway / cytology*
  • Perforant Pathway / physiology
  • Presynaptic Terminals / physiology
  • Presynaptic Terminals / ultrastructure*


  • Dextrans
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • biotinylated dextran amine
  • Biotin