While the dentate gyrus is clearly the simplest of the cortical fields that constitute the hippocampal formation, it nonetheless occupies a pivotal position in the flow of information through this region. Though it has been the subject of anatomical study for over a century and its major connections have been known for almost as long, the use of newly developed histochemical and immunohistochemical techniques have demonstrated many new facets of its intrinsic connectivity and afferent innervation. These techniques have established that it is innervated by cholinergic, noradrenergic, serotonergic and dopaminergic fibers. More recent studies have shown that fibers and cell bodies of the dentate gyrus are immunoreactive for variety of neuroactive substances including the excitatory amino acids glutamate and aspartate, the inhibitory transmitter GABA, as well as peptides of many types including the opioid peptides, enkephalin and dynorphin, several forms of somatostatin, neuropeptide Y, cholycystokinin, vasoactive intestinal peptide and substance P. In this review, we will briefly summarize the distribution of each of these putative transmitter systems within the dentate gyrus. The perspective emerges that the plethora of newly identified and chemically specific fiber systems enriches the classical understanding of the organization of this relatively simple cortical structure. Since there is thus far no evidence for the exclusion from the dentate gyrus of any class of transmitter bearing fiber or neuron found in the neocortex, it can be viewed as a relatively simple model system for studying the interactions of specific transmitter systems in a laminated, cortical structure.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|State||Published - 1986|
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