Parahippocampal and retrosplenial connections of rat posterior parietal cortex
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionHippocampus. 2017, 27 (4), 335–358. 10.1002/hipo.22701
The posterior parietal cortex has been implicated in spatial functions, including navigation. The hippocampal and parahippocampal region and the retrosplenial cortex are crucially involved in navigational processes and connections between the parahippocampal/retrosplenial domain and the posterior parietal cortex have been described. However, an integrated account of the organization of these connections is lacking. Here, we investigated parahippocampal connections of each posterior parietal subdivision and the neighboring secondary visual cortex using conventional retrograde and anterograde tracers as well as transsynaptic retrograde tracing with a modified rabies virus. The results show that posterior parietal as well as secondary visual cortex entertain overall sparse connections with the parahippocampal region but not with the hippocampal formation. The medial and lateral dorsal subdivisions of posterior parietal cortex receive sparse input from deep layers of all parahippocampal areas. Conversely, all posterior parietal subdivisions project moderately to dorsal presubiculum, whereas rostral perirhinal cortex, postrhinal cortex, caudal entorhinal cortex and parasubiculum all receive sparse posterior parietal input. This indicated that the presubiculum might be a major liaison between parietal and parahippocampal domains. In view of the close association of the presubiculum with the retrosplenial cortex, we included the latter in our analysis. Our data indicate that posterior parietal cortex is moderately connected with the retrosplenial cortex, particularly with rostral area 30. The relative sparseness of the connectivity with the parahippocampal and retrosplenial domains suggests that posterior parietal cortex is only a modest actor in forming spatial representations underlying navigation and spatial memory in parahippocampal and retrosplenial cortex.