Topographic organization of tufted cell axonal projections in the hamster main olfactory bulb: an intrabulbar associational system

J Comp Neurol. 1985 May 22;235(4):503-18. doi: 10.1002/cne.902350408.


The organization of intrinsic axonal projections of principal neurons in the main olfactory bulb (MOB) was studied in hamsters by using wheat germ agglutinin-horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) and fluorescent dyes. Punctate injections of either WGA-HRP or fast blue (FB) that are restricted to small sectors on one side of the MOB produce comparably restricted fields of retrograde labeling on the opposite side. Label is found predominantly in superficially situated (middle and external) tufted cells that lie near and at the border between the external plexiform and glomerular layers. Few of the deeper middle tufted, internal tufted, or mitral cells and no external tufted cells that lie in the superficial two-thirds of the glomerular layer are labeled in regions remote to the injection site. Anterograde transport of WGA-HRP from the injection site labels axons that travel dorsally and ventrally in restricted bands through the internal plexiform layer and then terminate within this layer in the punctate sector on the opposite side that contains retrogradely labeled neurons. Such reciprocal projections between opposing regions of the medial and lateral sides of the MOB are found at all rostrocaudal and dorsoventral levels. When punctate injections of FB into the MOB are paired with restricted injections of a second fluorescent tracer (nuclear yellow or diamidino yellow dihydrochloride) into the appropriate sector of pars externa (pE) of the anterior olfactory nucleus, the punctate region of remote retrogradely labeled principal neurons is embedded within a topographically restricted longitudinal wedge of retrogradely labeled mitral and tufted cells that project extrinsically to or through pE. However, extremely few of these neurons are double-retrogradely labeled. The results reveal the existence of an intrabulbar associational system in which principal neurons engage in point-to-point, reciprocal projections between opposing regions of the medial and lateral MOB. Moreover, the results indicate that this associational system largely arises from superficially situated tufted cells distinct from those that support bulbofugal projections into the topographically organized interbulbar commissural system via pE.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Association
  • Axons
  • Cricetinae
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Lectins
  • Male
  • Mesocricetus
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Olfactory Bulb / anatomy & histology*
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology
  • Staining and Labeling / methods
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Lectins
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins
  • Horseradish Peroxidase