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Exp Anim. 2012;61(1):13-24.

Histological properties of the glomerular layer in the mouse accessory olfactory bulb.

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Department of Comparative and Behavioral Medicine, Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University, Tokyo, Japan.


In mammals, the vomeronasal system (VS) originating from the vomeronasal organ (VNO; also called "Jacobson's organ") is considered to be a chemosensory system that recognizes "pheromone" signals. In the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB), the primary center of the VS, the glomerular cell layer (GL) of the AOB is regarded as an important functional area in the transmission of pheromone signals from vomeronasal sensory neurons (VSNs) of the VNO. In mice, the most frequently used animal model for the study of the VS, the GL of the AOB has several unique histological properties when compared with the main olfactory bulb (MOB): (i) each glomerular size is far smaller than in the MOB; (ii) many juxtaglomerular cells (JGCs) are GABA immunopositive, but subpopulations of cells distributed in the AOB are tyrosine hydroxylase- or calcium-binding protein immunopositive; and (iii) the dendritic branching pattern of the JGC in the AOB is heteromeric. The biological significance of the mammalian VS is still debated. The unique histological properties of the mouse AOB summerized in the present review may give some useful information that may help in understanding the function of the mammalian VS.

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