Efferent projections of the anterior perirhinal cortex in the rat

J Comp Neurol. 1996 May 27;369(2):302-18. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9861(19960527)369:2<302::AID-CNE10>3.0.CO;2-J.


Because convulsive seizures develop very rapidly from kindling sites in the anterior perirhinal cortex, we studied perirhinal efferents by using the anterograde tracer Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin (PhAL). PhAL injections into the anterior perirhinal cortex labelled a prominent network of fibers within the frontal cortex that was most dense within layers I and II and layer VI. As individual PhAL injection sites within the perirhinal cortex were restricted to one or two adjacent laminae, we were able to determine that layer V was the main source of the perirhinofrontal projection. This was confirmed by frontal cortex injections of the retrograde tracer Fluorogold (FG). Other cortical areas with densely labelled fibers following perirhinal PhAL injections included the agranular insular, infralimbic, orbital, parietal, and entorhinal cortices. Moderate to mild fiber labelling was also noted in the posterior piriform, temporal and occipital cortices, and the claustrum. Subcortical labelling was seen in the nucleus accumbens; fundus striati; basal and lateral amygdala nuclei; the "acoustic thalamus"; and the central grey. Several of these cortical and subcortical projections were bilateral. The different laminar origin of these perirhinal efferents is discussed. These results confirmed our prediction of extensive direct projections from the anterior perirhinal cortex to the frontal cortex in the rat. The significance of this projection is discussed with special reference to the anatomical basis of convulsive limbic seizures.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Efferent Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Frontal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Nerve Fibers / ultrastructure
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley