Are the Anterior and Mid-Cingulate Cortices Distinct in Rodents?

Academic Article


  • The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in cognitive control, emotional regulation, and motivation. In this Perspective article, we discuss the nomenclature of the subdivisions of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), since the anatomical definitions of the PFC subregions have been confusing. Although the mid-cingulate cortex (MCC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) have distinct features in humans and non-human primates, it is unclear whether these regions serve different functions in rodents. Accurate mapping of the cingulate cortex in rodents is important to allow comparisons between species. A proposed change in the nomenclature of the rodent cingulate cortex to anterior cingulate cortex (aCg) and mid-cingulate cortex (mCg) is presented based on our data. We show evidence for distinct cortico-cortical projections from the aCg and mCg to the PrL. The aCg→PrL neurons were abundant in layer VI, while the mCg→PrL neurons were mainly distributed in layer V. In addition, a sex difference was detected in the aCg, with males having a higher proportion of layer V neurons projecting to the PrL than females. Based on this laminar distribution and considering that layer V and VI send efferent projections to different brain areas such as the brain stem, amygdala, and thalamus, we propose that aCg and mCg need to be considered separate entities for future rodent studies. This new definition will put into perspective the role of rodent cingulate cortex in diverse aspects of cognition and facilitate interspecies comparisons in cingulate cortex research.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 3667218
  • Author List

  • Francis-Oliveira J; Leitzel O; Niwa M
  • Volume

  • 16