The brain of the tree pangolin (Manis tricuspis). IV. The hippocampal formation

Document Type



Brain and Mind Institute


Employing a range of standard and immunohistochemical stains we provide a description of the hippocampal formation in the brain of the tree pangolin. For the most part, the architecture, chemical neuroanatomy, and topological relationships of the component parts of the hippocampal formation of the tree pangolin were consistent with that observed in other mammalian species. Within the hippocampus proper fields CA1, 3, and 4 could be identified with certainty, while CA2 was tentatively identified as a small transitional zone between the CA1 and CA3 fields. Within the dentate gyrus evidence for adult hippocampal neurogenesis at a rate comparable to other mammals was observed. The subicular complex and entorhinal cortex also exhibited divisions typically observed in other mammalian species. In contrast to many other mammals, an architecturally and neurochemically distinct CA4 field was observed, supporting Lorente de Nó's proposed CA4 field, at least in some mammalian species. In addition, up to seven laminae were evident in the dentate gyrus. Calretinin immunostaining revealed the three sublamina of the molecular layer, while immunostaining for vesicular glutamate transporter 2 and neurofilament H indicate that the granule cell layer was composed of two sublamina. The similarities and differences observed in the tree pangolin indicate that the hippocampal formation is an anatomically and neurochemically conserved neural unit in mammalian evolution, but minor changes may relate to specific life history features and habits of species.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Comparative Neurology