Sensory reinnervation after partial removal of the olfactory bulb

J Comp Neurol. 1992 Feb 1;316(1):32-44. doi: 10.1002/cne.903160104.


In this study, in order to provide the anatomical basis for future behavioral and electrophysiological experiments, we describe the effects of unilateral bulbar lesion on the peripheral sensory neurons and the parameters of reinnervation of the damaged olfactory bulb. Neonatal mice and rats were subjected to removal of portions of the olfactory bulb. At survival times from 2 to 6 months, the animals were killed by transcardial perfusion and processed for light (histological, immunohistochemical, autoradiographic) and electron microscopic observations. As a result of this surgery, in the basal layer of the olfactory neuroepithelium the rate of mitotic activity increased while the number of mature olfactory neurons was greatly reduced. The regrowing olfactory axons, by forming ectopic glomerular structures in the damaged target, profoundly influenced its reorganization. The typical layered morphology of the olfactory bulb was often disrupted in the bulbar remnant; the large dendrites of the deafferented mitral cells bent toward the ectopically located glomerular structures establishing numerous synaptic contacts. The results from this study indicate that the olfactory input plays an important role in the reorganization of the damaged olfactory bulb. Behavioral experiments in partially bulbectomized animals should provide essential information about the importance of a topological map in the processing of olfactory cues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Electrophysiology
  • Epithelium / ultrastructure
  • Mice
  • Nerve Regeneration / physiology*
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Neurons, Afferent / ultrastructure
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology*
  • Olfactory Bulb / ultrastructure
  • Rats