Thalamic projections to the hippocampal and entorhinal areas in the cat

J Comp Neurol. 1987 Dec 1;266(1):122-41. doi: 10.1002/cne.902660110.


The thalamic projections to the hippocampal formation and to the subicular and entorhinal areas in the cat have been studied with retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) or wheat germ agglutinin conjugated to HRP (WGA-HRP) and anterograde transport of WGA-HRP. Retrograde transport tracers injected in various parts of these cortices resulted in labeled cells in the midline, anterior, and lateral dorsal nuclei. Injections into the hippocampal formation or the subiculum led to retrograde labeling of cells in the reuniens nucleus of the ipsilateral thalamus throughout its rostrocaudal extent, whereas the restricted injections into the dentate gyrus and the inferior region of the hippocampus led to no labeling. Following an injection into the pre- and parasubiculum, a large number of labeled cells were seen not only in the reuniens nucleus but in other midline nuclei. In addition, a substantial number of labeled cells were also detected in the anterior and lateral dorsal nuclei, particularly in the anterodorsal nucleus, which contained densely arranged labeled cells throughout almost the entire rostrocaudal extent. An injection into the medial entorhinal area labeled a number of cells in the anterior nuclei and in the reuniens nucleus, particularly its dorsal part. Injections into various subdivisions of the lateral entorhinal area yielded different patterns of distribution of labeled cells in the thalamic nuclei. An injection into the ventromedial division (VMEA) led to abundant labeling of cells in the paraventricular and reuniens nuclei. After an injection into the ventral division (VLEA), numerous labeled cells were detected in the reuniens nucleus and a lesser number in the paraventricular nucleus at anterior levels. When an injection was made into the dorsal division (DLEA), a large number of labeled cells were detected in the reuniens nucleus, and less numerous labeled cells were found in the central medial nucleus. There appears to be a topographic arrangement of cortical projections of the reuniens nucleus. The pre- and parasubiculum receive projections from the most medial part of the reuniens nucleus near the midline, and the DLEA receives projections from the medial part of the nucleus. The cells projecting to the VLEA and MEA are distributed in the central part of the reuniens nucleus, and those to the VMEA are distributed in the lateral part. Anterograde experiments were also performed; injections of WGA-HRP into the reuniens nucleus resulted in terminal labeling in the superficial layers of the subicular area and the neighboring hippocampus and in the entorhinal area.

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Cats / anatomy & histology*
  • Efferent Pathways / analysis*
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / anatomy & histology*
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Male
  • Thalamus / anatomy & histology*
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins


  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins
  • Horseradish Peroxidase