In the present study we aimed to determine the topographical and laminar characteristics of cingulate projections to the parahippocampal region and hippocampal formation in the rat, using the anterograde tracers Phaseolus vulgaris-leucoagglutinin and biotinylated dextranamine. The results show that all areas of the cingulate cortex project extensively to the parahippocampal region but not to the hippocampal formation. Rostral cingulate areas (infralimbic-, prelimbic cortices, rostral 1/3 of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex) primarily project to the perirhinal and lateral entorhinal cortices. Projections from the remaining cingulate areas preferentially target the postrhinal and medial entorhinal cortices as well as the presubiculum and parasubiculum. At a more detailed level the projections show differences in topographical specificities according to their site of origin within the cingulate cortex suggesting the functional contribution of cingulate areas may differ at an individual level. This organization of the cingulate-parahippocampal projections relates to the overall organization of postulated parallel parahippocampal-hippocampal processing streams mediated through the lateral and medial entorhinal cortex respectively. The mid-rostrocaudal part of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex appears to be connected to both networks as well as to rostral and caudal parts of the cingulate cortex. This region may therefore responsible for integrating information across these specific networks.
(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.