Circuit organization of the rodent medial prefrontal cortex

Trends Neurosci. 2021 Jul;44(7):550-563. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2021.03.006. Epub 2021 May 7.


The prefrontal cortex (PFC) orchestrates higher brain function and becomes disrupted in many mental health disorders. The rodent medial PFC (mPFC) possesses an enormous variety of projection neurons and interneurons. These cells are engaged by long-range inputs from other brain regions involved in cognition, motivation, and emotion. They also communicate in the local network via specific connections between excitatory and inhibitory cells. In this review, we describe the cellular diversity of the rodent mPFC, the impact of long-range afferents, and the specificity of local microcircuits. We highlight similarities with and differences between other cortical areas, illustrating how the circuit organization of the mPFC may give rise to its unique functional roles.

Keywords: cell types; circuits; interneuron; prefrontal cortex; projection neuron; synapses.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Interneurons
  • Prefrontal Cortex*
  • Rodentia*