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, 70 (2), 213-22

Transient Pattern of Exuberant Projections of Olfactory Axons During Development in the Rat


Transient Pattern of Exuberant Projections of Olfactory Axons During Development in the Rat

M Santacana et al. Brain Res Dev Brain Res.


The purpose of our study was twofold: (1) to trace the development of the olfactory axons from early embryonic stages until the mature pattern of connectivity and (2) to determine whether a transient penetration of them exists beyond the olfactory glomeruli. Two techniques were employed: DiI applied in the olfactory epithelium after aldehyde fixation, and olfactory marker protein (OMP) immunostaining. At E13 and E14 olfactory axons were observed spreading over the telencephalic vesicle and entering deeply into the prospective olfactory bulb, extending near the ventricular zone. Growth cones were seen at the end of these axons. At E15, the bundles of olfactory axons form a network, in which axons, growth cones and cells were seen. Some of these axons entered the olfactory bulb. Using OMP immunostaining olfactory axons were observed along the external plexiform layer, the mitral cell layer and in the granular layer from E19 to P6. At P9 some OMP immunoreactive axons were observed in the external plexiform layer. No OMP immunostained axons could be observed outside the glomeruli at P10. Our conclusions are that a transient immature pattern of early invasion over the telencephalic vesicle and of the olfactory bulb by olfactory axons occurs in the olfactory system. By the second postnatal week the glomerular layer reaches its mature configuration, and no olfactory fibers are seen outside the glomerular layer.

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