Intrinsic connections of the macaque monkey hippocampal formation: II. CA3 connections

J Comp Neurol. 2009 Jul 20;515(3):349-77. doi: 10.1002/cne.22056.


We examined the topographic organization of the connections of the CA3 field of the macaque monkey hippocampus. Discrete anterograde and retrograde tracer injections were made at various positions within CA3 and CA1. The projections from CA3 to CA1 (Schaffer collaterals), which terminate in the strata radiatum, pyramidale, and oriens, are present throughout the entire transverse extent of CA1. Projections extend both rostrally and caudally from the injection site for as much as three-fourths of the longitudinal extent of the hippocampus. The associational projections from CA3 to CA3 also travel extensively along the longitudinal axis. CA3 gives rise to more substantial projections to CA1 than to CA3. CA3 projections that originate at the level of the uncus tend to be more restricted to the rostral portions of CA1 and CA3. As in the rodent brain, projections from CA3 to CA1 are distributed along a radial gradient, depending on the transverse location of the cells of origin. CA3 cells located near the dentate gyrus generate projections that more densely terminate superficially in the terminal zone of CA1, whereas CA3 cells located closer to CA1 give rise to projections that more heavily terminate deeply in the terminal zone of CA1. The present results indicate that in the monkey, as in the rat, CA3 cells give rise to extensive projections to CA1 and CA3. Interestingly, radial, transverse, and longitudinal gradients of CA3 fiber distribution, so clear in the rat, are much more subtle in the nonhuman primate brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hippocampus / anatomy & histology*
  • Humans
  • Macaca fascicularis / anatomy & histology*
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Rats
  • Staining and Labeling