Connections of the Retrosplenial Dysgranular Cortex in the Rat

J Comp Neurol. 1992 Jan 8;315(2):200-16. doi: 10.1002/cne.903150207.


Although the retrosplenial dysgranular cortex (Rdg) is situated both physically and connectionally between the hippocampal formation and the neocortex, few studies have focused on the connections of Rdg. The present study employs retrograde and anterograde anatomical tracing methods to delineate the connections of Rdg. Each projection to Rdg terminates in distinct layers of the cortex. The thalamic projections to Rdg originate in the anterior (primarily the anteromedial), lateral (primarily the laterodorsal), and reuniens nuclei. Those from the anteromedial nucleus terminate predominantely in layers I and IV-VI, whereas the axons arising from the laterodorsal nucleus have a dense terminal plexus in layers I and III-IV. The cortical projections to Rdg originate primarily in the infraradiata, retrosplenial, postsubicular, and areas 17 and 18b cortices. The projections arising from visual areas 18b and 17 predominantly terminate in layer I of Rdg, axons from contralateral Rdg form a dense terminal plexus in layers I-IV, with a smaller number of terminals in layers V and VI, afferents from postsubiculum terminate in layers I and III-V, and the projection from infraradiata cortex terminates in layers I and V-VI. The efferent projections from Rdg are widespread. The major cortical projections from Rdg are to infraradiata, retrosplenial granular, area 18b, and postsubicular cortices. Subcortical projections from Rdg terminate primarily in the ipsilateral caudate and lateral thalamic nuclei and bilaterally in the anterior thalamic nuclei. The efferent projections from Rdg are topographically organized. Rostral Rdg projects to the dorsal infraradiata cortex and the rostral postsubiculum, while caudal Rdg axons terminate predominantely in the ventral infraradiata and the caudal postsubicular cortices. Caudal but not rostral Rdg projects to areas 17 and 18b of the cortex. The Rdg projections to the lateral and anterior nuclei also are organized along the rostral-caudal axis. Together, these data suggest that Rdg integrates thalamic, hippocampal, and neocortical information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Efferent Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Gyrus Cinguli / anatomy & histology
  • Hippocampus / anatomy & histology*
  • Learning / physiology
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Rats / anatomy & histology*
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Thalamus / anatomy & histology
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Visual Pathways / anatomy & histology