The laminar distribution of intracortical fibers originating in the olfactory cortex of the rat

J Comp Neurol. 1983 May 20;216(3):292-302. doi: 10.1002/cne.902160306.


In this study, the autoradiographic method for tracing axonal connections was used to identify the laminar distribution of intracortical fibers originating in the olfactory cortical areas of the rat. Most of the projections can be divided into two major fiber systems with different laminar patterns of termination. The first of these, termed the layer Ib fiber system, arises in the anterior olfactory nucleus, the anterior and posterior piriform cortex, and the lateral entorhinal cortex, and terminates predominantly in layer Ib and, in many cases, layer III of the entire olfactory cortex. The second system, termed the layer II-deep Ib fiber system, originates in three relatively small olfactory cortical areas--the dorsal peduncular cortex, the ventral tenia tecta, and the periamygdaloid cortex--and terminates in and around the cells of layer II in most parts of the olfactory cortex. There is significant overlap in the laminar distribution of the two systems, although the distinction between them is readily apparent. Within the layer Ib fiber system there are relatively slight but consistent differences in the lamination of fibers from different areas. The fibers from the anterior olfactory nucleus are concentrated in the deep part of layer Ib while those from the anterior piriform cortex are concentrated in the superficial part of this layer. The fibers from the posterior piriform cortex tend to be densest in the middle of layer Ib. These differences are maintained in all areas of termination of each set of fibers, both ipsilaterally and contralaterally. In addition, intracortical fibers from the anterior cortical nucleus of the amygdala are distributed throughout layer I, including layer Ia and Ib. Fibers from the nucleus of the lateral olfactory tract terminate bilaterally around the cells of the islands of Calleja and the medial edge of the anterior piriform cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / anatomy & histology
  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Central Nervous System / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Nerve Fibers / anatomy & histology*
  • Olfactory Bulb / anatomy & histology
  • Olfactory Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Photomicrography
  • Rats / anatomy & histology*
  • Rats, Inbred Strains