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Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 1996 Sep 2;95(2):234-44.

Migration of GnRH-immunoreactive neurons from the olfactory placode to the brain: a study using avian embryonic chimeras.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan.


Previous studies suggest that gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons appear in the olfactory placode and subsequently migrate into the brain during embryonic development. The aim of the present study was to obtain direct evidence for migration of GnRH neurons from the olfactory placode into the brain. Olfactory placodes from quail embryos were transplanted isotopically and isochronically, to replace the unilaterally ablated olfactory placodes of chick embryos. The chimeric embryos were allowed to develop for several days until they reached the embryonic stages when GnRH neurons are seen in the brain in normal embryos. Quail olfactory epithelia were formed in the host chick embryos. Quail olfactory nerves were also formed and reached the olfactory bulb or primordial olfactory bulb. GnRH-immunoreactive cells of quail origin revealed by a triple staining method were observed in the quail olfactory epithelium, quail olfactory nerve, chick olfactory bulb, and septo-preoptic area. These results indicate that GnRH neurons originate in the olfactory placode and migrate into the telencephalon including the septo-preoptic area. A migratory route of GnRH neurons was well documented by the use of a quail neuron-specific antibody, QN. The migratory route in the brain is discussed with special reference to the terminal nerve. A GnRH-immunoreactive neuronal group of chick origin appeared in the diencephalon of chimeric embryos. These diencephalic neurons may be of non-placodal origin. FMRFamide-immunoreactive neurons of quail origin were also found in the quail olfactory nerve and the host olfactory bulb, suggesting that FMRFamide neurons also originate in the olfactory placode and migrate into the brain.

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