The hippocampal longitudinal axis has been linked to dissociated functional networks relevant to episodic memory. However, the organization of axis-dependent networks and their relation to episodic memory in aging remains less explored. Moreover, age-related deterioration of the dopamine (DA) system, affecting memory and functional network properties, might constitute a source of reduced specificity of hippocampal networks in aging. Here, we characterized axis-dependent large-scale hippocampal resting-state networks, their relevance to episodic memory, and links to DA in older individuals (n = 170, 64-68 years). Partial least squares identified 2 dissociated networks differentially connected to the anterior and posterior hippocampus. These overlapped with anterior-temporal/posterior-medial networks in young adults, indicating preserved organization of axis-dependent connectivity in old age. However, axis-specific networks were overall unrelated to memory and hippocampal DA D2 receptor availability (D2DR) measured with [11C]-raclopride positron emission tomography. Further analyses identified a memory-related network modulated by hippocampal D2DR, equally connected to anterior-posterior regions. This network included medial frontal, posterior parietal, and striatal areas. The results add to the current understanding of large-scale hippocampal connectivity in aging, demonstrating axis-dependent connectivity with dissociated anterior and posterior networks, as well as a primary role in episodic memory of connectivity shared by regions along the hippocampalaxis.
© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press.