Preservation of topography in the connections between the subiculum, field CA1, and the entorhinal cortex in rats

J Comp Neurol. 1995 Mar 13;353(3):379-90. doi: 10.1002/cne.903530306.


In order to examine whether the entorhinal-hippocampal-entorhinal circuit is reciprocal and topographic, the connections between the subiculum, the CA1 field, and the entorhinal cortex were studied with the carbocyanine dye (Dil), which moves in both retrograde and anterograde directions. We investigated the organization of reciprocal connections revealed by injections of Dil in the entorhinal cortex along the rhinal sulcus. Anterograde fluorescent labeling showed the same pattern reported in previous studies of the dorsal hippocampus. When the injection site of DiI extended into the deep layers (IV-VI) of the same cortical column, the anterograde labeling of the perforant path was accompanied by retrograde labeling of the subicular neurons and the CA1 neurons. The distribution of labeled cells overlapped the distribution of labeled fibers, and the distribution of labeled cells paralleled that of the labeled fibers in the CA1 field. DiI injection into the medial entorhinal cortex revealed fewer retrogradely labeled subicular neurons than injection into the lateral entorhinal cortex, whereas the number of labeled CA1 neurons was not dependent on the injection site. The number of labeled CA1 neurons was always several times greater than the number of subicular neurons. Thus, the amount of information conveyed by the CA1 projection might be higher than that conveyed by the subicular projection. These results indicate that the entorhinal cortex, CA1, and the subiculum are connected reciprocally and topographically. We believe that the framework of the major hippocampal circuit proposed in previous studies should be reconsidered. We propose that the CA1 projection, rather than the subicular projection, is the main projection that feeds back information from the hippocampus to the entorhinal cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Axons
  • Brain Mapping
  • Entorhinal Cortex / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Staining and Labeling