Navigation is mediated by a network of brain areas, and research has focused on the head-direction system in the presubiculum (PrS), the grid cell containing medial entorhinal cortex (EC) (MEC) and place cells in the hippocampus. Less research addressed the interactions of the retrosplenial cortex (RSC) and the navigational system, although it is well established that damage to the RSC leads to navigational deficits. We previously showed that RSC provides a dense input to deep layers of MEC and to superficial layers of PrS. In this study we use confocal microscopical analysis and show that the dense projection from the caudal part of the ventral retrosplenial granular cortex targets neurons in Layer III of PrS, which provide input to superficial layers of MEC. Our high resolution anatomical data indicate that sparsely spiny pyramidal neurons in Layer III of PrS that originate projections to Layer III of MEC are the main target of these retrosplenial projections. Retrosplenial axonal boutons were found to equally contact spines and shafts of basal dendrites in Layer III, but contacts on shafts are more prominent close to the soma, indicating the potential for efficient synaptic transfer. These observations suggest that neurons in Layer III of PrS have an important role in mediating RSC contributions to navigation.
Pubmed ID: 21710546 RIS Download
Mesh terms: Animals | Entorhinal Cortex | Female | Hippocampus | Imaging, Three-Dimensional | Microscopy, Confocal | Microscopy, Fluorescence | Models, Anatomic | Models, Neurological | Movement | Nerve Net | Neural Pathways | Parahippocampal Gyrus | Presynaptic Terminals | Rats | Rats, Sprague-Dawley
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