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Structure of the nucleus olfactorius anterior of the hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)

AuthorsValverde, Facundo; López-Mascaraque, Laura; Carlos, Juan A. de
Issue Date1989
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationJournal of Comparative Neurology 279: 581- 600 (1989)
AbstractThe cytoarchitecture, topography, and cellular structure of the nucleus olfactorius anterior (NOA) in the hedgehog have been studied in Nissl-stained and Golgi preparations. The NOA is an important receptive allocortical formation for olfactory fibers and the major source of association fibers relating the main olfactory bulb with the rest of the olfactory brain. It was divided into a bulbar part; four subdivisions named lateral, dorsal, medial, and ventral; an external part; and a posterior part. Except for the external and posterior subdivisions, the NOA is relatively homogeneous and, in spite of the apparent lack of sublamination in Nissl-stained material, four clearly defined cellular laminae were distinguished by the Golgi method. These layers were found to be strikingly similar to those in the piriform cortex. Layer I contains the terminal ramifications of apical dendrites of pyramidal cells and the collaterals of the lateral olfactory tract. The superficial part of layer II contains extraverted pyramidal cells with two or three apical dendrites ramifying in layer I. Most pyramidal cells in the deep part of layer II and layer III are typical pyramidal cells with axons entering the commissura anterior. Some pyramidal cell axons bifurcate into two branches running in opposite directions in the commissura anterior. The interstitial zone below layer III contains deep pyramidal cells and polymorphic cells with ascending branches. Cells with intrinsic axons were classified into four main categories according to the distribution of their axonal ramifications: 1) cells with very restricted axons, 2) cells with axons oriented tangentially in the superficial part of layer II, 3) cells with ascending axons located in the deep part, and 4) chandelierlike cells. Finally, some functional considerations are discussed.
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