Perirhinal and postrhinal cortices of the rat: interconnectivity and connections with the entorhinal cortex

J Comp Neurol. 1998 Feb 16;391(3):293-321. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-9861(19980216)391:3<293::aid-cne2>;2-x.


The cortical regions dorsally adjacent to the posterior rhinal sulcus in the rat can be divided into a rostral region, the perirhinal cortex, which shares features of the monkey perirhinal cortex, and a caudal region, the postrhinal cortex, which has connectional attributes similar to the monkey parahippocampal cortex. We examined the connectivity among the rat perirhinal (areas 35 and 36), postrhinal, and entorhinal cortices by placing anterograde and retrograde tracers in all three regions. There is a dorsal-to-ventral cascade of connections in the perirhinal and entorhinal cortices. Dorsal area 36 projects strongly to ventral area 36, and ventral area 36 projects strongly to area 35. The return projections are substantially weaker. The cascade continues with the perirhinal to entorhinal connections. Area 35 is more strongly interconnected with the entorhinal cortex, ventral area 36 somewhat less strongly, and dorsal area 36 projects only weakly to the entorhinal cortex. The postrhinal-to-perirhinal connections also follow this general pattern. The postrhinal cortex is more heavily connected with dorsal area 36 than with ventral area 36 and is more heavily connected with area 36 than with area 35. The rostral portion of the postrhinal cortex has the strongest connections with the perirhinal cortex. Like in the monkey, the perirhinal and postrhinal cortices have different patterns of projections to the entorhinal cortex. The perirhinal cortex is preferentially connected with the rostrolateral portion of the entorhinal cortex. The postrhinal cortex projects to a part of this same region but is also connected to caudal and redial portions of the entorhinal cortex. The perirhinal and postrhinal projections to the entorhinal cortex originate in layers III and V and terminate preferentially in layers II and III.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Entorhinal Cortex / physiology*
  • Injections
  • Limbic System / physiology*
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Terminology as Topic