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J Comp Neurol. 1985 Dec 15;242(3):415-24.

Pattern of rat olfactory bulb mitral and tufted cell connections to the anterior olfactory nucleus pars externa.


The pattern of output of mitral and tufted cells of the rat olfactory bulb (OB) to layer Ia overlying the pars externa (pE) of the anterior olfactory nucleus (AON) has been studied in the rat by iontophoresis of horseradish peroxidase and Phaseolus vulgaris-leucoagglutinin. These agents labeled mitral and tufted cells and at least the proximal portion of their axons. In most cases we observed small branches from axons of the lateral olfactory tract that appear to terminate in the region of the pE AON, while the main axon could often be traced for considerable distances past these branches. These branches are assumed to terminate in the pE AON because they could not be traced to other terminal regions, because they ramify in layer Ia, and because they usually show small swellings characteristic of axons in terminal regions. Although each ramification could be extensive, we found that the positions of these small branches were related to the positions of the injections within the OB. Dorsal medial injections labeled dorsal branches. Ventral medial injections labeled ventral branches. Injections on the lateral face of the OB labeled intermediate branches. The centers of the regions within which branches were labeled were strongly correlated with the positions of the injection around the circumference. Comparison of the anterior-posterior axis of the OB produced no such strong correlation. Reconstructions of axons showed that terminal branches arise from both mitral and tufted cells, although at least some mitral cells are shown not to have such branches in the pE AON. Studies of the patterns of dendrites and terminals in the pE AON indicate that this region has the same pattern of layer Ia and Ib terminals seen in other olfactory cortical regions. The pE AON cell layer is intercalated just below the boundary between layers Ia and Ib. Since dendrites of the underlying pars lateralis of the AON (pL AON) penetrate into layer Ia over much of the pE AON, it is necessary to remember that at least part of the pL AON may also receive topographically organized inputs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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