The subventricular zone (SVZ) lying along the ependymal layer of lateral ventricle is known to generate neural progenitor cells throughout adulthood in specific areas of the mammalian brain. In rodents, the anterior region of the SVZ produces neuroblasts that migrate in chain toward the olfactory bulb along the so-called rostral migratory stream (RMS). In the present study, the organization of the RMS in a representative of New World primates - the squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus) - was studied by using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), a thymidine analogue that incorporates itself into the DNA of cells undergoing mitotic division. Double and triple immunofluorescence labelling with a confocal microscope served to visualize cells that expressed BrdU as well as molecular markers of neurogenesis. Numerous newborn (BrdU+) cells, many ensheated in glial (GFAP+) tubes, were scattered along the entire RMS in squirrel monkeys. Some of these BrdU+ cells expressed molecular markers for early committed neurons (TuJ1), postmitotic granular neuroblasts (TUC-4) or mature neurons (MAP-2, NeuN), and virtually all of them expressed the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2. A significant number of BrdU+ cells were found to deviate from the main stream of the RMS. Instead of reaching the olfactory bulb, these cells migrated ventrally into the olfactory tubercle, where they expressed a mature neuronal phenotype (MAP-2). These findings reveal that the RMS in New World monkeys is mitotically robust and markedly extended and suggest that Bcl-2 might play a role in the survival and/or differentiation of newborn neurons destined to olfactory bulb and olfactory tubercle in primates.