Postnatal development of the entorhinal cortex: A stereological study in macaque monkeys

Olivia Piguet, Loïc J Chareyron, Pamela Banta Lavenex, David G Amaral, Pierre Lavenex

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The entorhinal cortex is the main gateway for interactions between the neocortex and the hippocampus. Distinct regions, layers, and cells of the hippocampal formation exhibit different profiles of structural and molecular maturation during postnatal development. Here, we provide estimates of neuron number, neuronal soma size, and volume of the different layers and subdivisions of the monkey entorhinal cortex (Eo, Er, Elr, Ei, Elc, Ec, Ecl) during postnatal development. We found different developmental changes in neuronal soma size and volume of distinct layers in different subdivisions, but no changes in neuron number. Layers I and II developed early in most subdivisions. Layer III exhibited early maturation in Ec and Ecl, a two-step/early maturation in Ei and a late maturation in Er. Layers V and VI exhibited an early maturation in Ec and Ecl, a two-step and early maturation in Ei, and a late maturation in Er. Neuronal soma size increased transiently at 6 months of age and decreased thereafter to reach adult size, except in Layer II of Ei, and Layers II and III of Ec and Ecl. These findings support the theory that different hippocampal circuits exhibit distinct developmental profiles, which may subserve the emergence of different hippocampus-dependent memory processes. We discuss how the early maturation of the caudal entorhinal cortex may contribute to path integration and basic allocentric spatial processing, whereas the late maturation of the rostral entorhinal cortex may contribute to the increased precision of allocentric spatial representations and the temporal integration of individual items into episodic memories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • allocentric spatial memory
  • episodic memory
  • hippocampal formation
  • infantile amnesia
  • Macaca mulatta
  • medial temporal lobe
  • object memory
  • path integration
  • RRID:SCR_000696, California National Primate Research Center Analytical and Resource Core
  • RRID:SCR_002526, Stereo Investigator
  • RRID:SCR_002865, SPSS
  • RRID:SCR_014199, Adobe Photoshop

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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