Cortical afferents of the perirhinal, postrhinal, and entorhinal cortices of the rat

J Comp Neurol. 1998 Aug 24;398(2):179-205. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-9861(19980824)398:2<179::aid-cne3>;2-y.


We have divided the cortical regions surrounding the rat hippocampus into three cytoarchitectonically discrete cortical regions, the perirhinal, the postrhinal, and the entorhinal cortices. These regions appear to be homologous to the monkey perirhinal, parahippocampal, and entorhinal cortices, respectively. The origin of cortical afferents to these regions is well-documented in the monkey but less is known about them in the rat. The present study investigated the origins of cortical input to the rat perirhinal (areas 35 and 36) and postrhinal cortices and the lateral and medial subdivisions of the entorhinal cortex (LEA and MEA) by placing injections of retrograde tracers at several locations within each region. For each experiment, the total numbers of retrogradely labeled cells (and cell densities) were estimated for 34 cortical regions. We found that the complement of cortical inputs differs for each of the five regions. Area 35 receives its heaviest input from entorhinal, piriform, and insular areas. Area 36 receives its heaviest projections from other temporal cortical regions such as ventral temporal association cortex. Area 36 also receives substantial input from insular and entorhinal areas. Whereas area 36 receives similar magnitudes of input from cortices subserving all sensory modalities, the heaviest projections to the postrhinal cortex originate in visual associational cortex and visuospatial areas such as the posterior parietal cortex. The cortical projections to the LEA are heavier than to the MEA and differ in origin. The LEA is primarily innervated by the perirhinal, insular, piriform, and postrhinal cortices. The MEA is primarily innervated by the piriform and postrhinal cortices, but also receives minor projections from retrosplenial, posterior parietal, and visual association areas.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amidines
  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Entorhinal Cortex / cytology*
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Frontal Lobe / cytology*
  • Hippocampus / cytology*
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Neural Pathways
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley / anatomy & histology*
  • Temporal Lobe / cytology*
  • Terminology as Topic


  • Amidines
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • diamidino compound 253-50
  • diamidino yellow