Projections of the lateral entorhinal cortex to the amygdala: a Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin study in the rat

Neuroscience. 1997 Mar;77(2):445-59. doi: 10.1016/s0306-4522(96)00478-2.


In addition to providing a gateway to the hippocampus, the entorhinal cortex has significant projections to the amygdala. In the present investigation, the organization of the projections of the lateral entorhinal cortex to the amygdala was studied in the rat using the sensitive anterograde tracer Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin. Each of the three main subdivisions of the lateral entorhinal cortex provided a characteristic projection to the amygdala that mainly arose from the deep cortical layers. The projections from the dorsolateral and ventrolateral entorhinal areas were much stronger than those arising from the ventromedial entorhinal area. The primary targets of the dorsolateral and ventrolateral entorhinal areas were the basolateral amygdala, lateral capsular subdivision of the central nucleus and caudal portions of the cortical nuclear complex. The dorsolateral entorhinal area projects mainly to the lateral part of the basal nucleus, while the ventrolateral entorhinal area projects mainly to its medial part. A transitional region at the rostral pole of the ventrolateral entorhinal cortex has additional strong projections to the lateral subdivision of the central nucleus, medial amygdaloid nucleus and the intra-amygdaloid portion of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. The results of the present study indicate that the amygdala is one of the principal targets of the entorhinal cortex. The correspondence between the topography of entorhino-hippocampal connections and entorhino-amygdaloid connections suggests that the amygdaloid projection arising in each of the three main subdivisions of the entorhinal cortex conveys information processed in different septotemporal portions of the hippocampal formation. These entorhinal projections, which probably convey complex relational (including contextual) information to the amygdala, are in a position to produce different behavioral responses by activating different portions of the amygdaloid nuclear complex.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / anatomy & histology
  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Entorhinal Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Entorhinal Cortex / physiology*
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tissue Fixation


  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • leukoagglutinins, plants