Distribution, morphological features, and synaptic connections of parvalbumin‐ and calbindin D28k‐immunoreactive neurons in the human hippocampal formation

László Seress, Attila I. Gulyás, Isidro Ferrer, Teresa Tunon, Eduardo Soriano, Tamás F. Freund

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114 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Calcium binding proteins calbindin D28k (CaBP) and parvalbumin (PV) are known to form distinct subpopulations of gamma‐aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurons in the rodent hippocampal formation. Light and electron microscopic morphology and connections of these protein‐containing neurons are only partly known in the primate hippocampus. In this study, CaBP and PV were localized in neurons of the human hippocampal formation including the subicular complex (prosubiculum, subiculum, and presubiculum) in order to explore to what extent these subpopulations of hippocampal neurons differ in phylogenetically distant species. CaBP immunoreactivity was present in virtually all granule cells of the dentate gyrus and in a proportion of pyramidal neurons in the CA1 and CA2 regions. A distinct population of CaBP‐positive local circuit neurons was found in all layers of the dentate gyrus and Ammon's horn. Most frequently they were located in the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus and the pyramidal layer of Ammon's horn. In the subicular complex pyramidal neurons were not immunoreactive for CaBP. In the prosubiculum and subiculum immunoreactive nonpyramidal neurons were equally distributed in all layers, whereas in the presubiculum they occurred mainly in the superficial layers. Electron microscopy showed typical somatic and dendritic features of the granule, pyramidal, and local circuit neurons. CaBP‐positive mossy fiber terminals in the hilus of the dentate gyrus and terminals of presumed pyramidal neurons of Ammon's horn formed asymmetric synapses with dendrites and spines. CaBP‐positive terminals of nonprincipal neurons formed symmetric synapses with dendrites and dendritic spines, but never with somata or axon initial segments. PV was exclusively present in local circuit neurons in both the hippocampal formation and subicular complex. Most of the PV‐positive cell bodies were located among or close to the principal cell layers. However, large numbers of immunoreactive neurons were also found in the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus and in strata oriens of Ammon's horn. PV‐positive cells were equally distributed in all layers of the subicular complex. Electron microscopy showed the characteristic somatic and dendritic features of local circuit neurons. PV‐positive axon terminals formed exclusively symmetric synapses with somata, axon initial segments and dendritic shafts, and in a few cases with dendritic spines. The CaBP‐ and PV‐containing neurons formed similar subpopulations in rodents, monkeys, and humans, although the human hippocampus displayed the largest variability of these immunoreactive neurons in their morphology and location. Calcium binding protein‐containing neurons frequently occurred in the molecular layer of the human dentate gyrus and in the stratum lacunosum‐moleculare of Ammon's horn. The corresponding areas of the rat or monkey hippocampus were devoid of such neurons. In both rodents and primates similar populations of principal neurons contained CaBP. In addition, CaBP and PV were localized in distinct and nonoverlapping populations of nonprincipal cells. Their target selectivity did not change during phylogeny (e.g., PV‐positive cells mainly innervate the perisomatic region and CaBP‐positive cells the distal dendritic region of principal cells). © 1993 Wiley‐Liss,Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-230
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Volume337
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 8 1993

Keywords

  • Ammon's horn
  • calcium binding proteins
  • dentate gyrus
  • subicular complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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