Connections of the hippocampal formation in humans: II. The endfolial fiber pathway

Chun Lim, Elliott J. Mufson, Jeffrey H. Kordower, Howard W. Blume, Joseph R. Madsen, Clifford B. Saper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We investigated the anatomical connections of the pyramidal neurons located within the hilar region of the dentate gyrus of the human hippocampus, neurons which do not have a rodent equivalent. The myeloarchitectural patterns of the human hippocampus indicated the presence of a distinct fiber pathway, the endfolial fiber pathway, in the stratum oriens of the hilus and field CA3. By using the fluorescent lipophilic dye DiI in formalin-fixed human hippocampal tissue, we demonstrated that this is a continuous fiber pathway between the deep hilar region and CA2. This fiber pathway did not enter the fimbria or alveus along the entire distance of the traced pathway and ran exclusively in the stratum oriens of the hilus and CA3. Tracing studies with biocytin in in vitro human hippocampal slices indicated that the hilar and CA3 pyramidal neurons contributed to this pathway. Out distally in field CA3, the long transverse fibers became short and choppy, suggesting that they were beginning to move out of the plane of the tissue slice. Numerous fibers from this pathway were seen crossing the pyramidal layer. Based on comparative studies, we propose that the endfolial fiber system is a component of the hilar Schaffer collateral system in humans. The presence of a significant Schaffer collateral system from the pyramidal neurons in the hilar region would indicate that these neurons are anatomically related to the CA3 pyramidal neurons. Therefore, we suggest the inclusion of the human hilar pyramidal neurons within Lorente de No's field CA3 and, in particular, within subfield CA3c.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-371
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Biocytin
  • Dentate gyrus
  • DiI
  • Hippocampus
  • Myelin
  • Schaffer collateral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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