A Gradient of Hippocampal Inputs to the Medial Mesocortex

Cell Rep. 2019 Dec 3;29(10):3266-3279.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.11.011.


Memory-guided decisions depend on complex interactions between the hippocampus (HIPP) and medial mesocortical (MMC) regions, including the anterior cingulate (CG) and retrosplenial (RSC). The functional circuitry underlying these interactions is unclear. Using anatomy, electrophysiology, and optogenetics, we show that such circuitry is characterized by a functional-anatomical gradient. While the CG receives hippocampal excitatory projections originated in CA1 stratum pyramidale, the RSC additionally receives long-range inhibitory inputs from radiatum and lacunosum-moleculare. Such hippocampal projections establish bona fide synapses, with the RSC densely targeted on its superficial layers L1-L3 by a combination of inhibitory and excitatory synapses. We show that the MMC is targeted by dorsal-intermediate CA1 (diCA1) axons following a caudorostral gradient in which a dense, dual (excitatory/inhibitory), layer-specific projection is progressively converted in a sparse, excitatory, and diffuse projection. This gradient is reflected in higher oscillatory synchronicity between the HIPP and RSC in the awake-behaving animal, compatible with their known functional proximity and contrasting with that found in the CG.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • CA1 Region, Hippocampal / physiology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Optogenetics / methods
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Synapses / physiology