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J Dev Physiol. 1979 Aug;1(4):295-313.

The postnatal development of the main olfactory bulb of the rat.


The postnatal development from birth to 1 year of the main olfactory bulb was examined quantitatively. The volume of the main olfactory bulb increased over seven-fold by day 30 and remained unchanged thereafter. During the same period the volume of the granular layer increased 18-fold and the mean areas of the olfactory glomeruli increased seven-fold. The mean areas of mitral cell perikarya doubled between the neonatal and juvenile periods. The total number of the mitral cells, however, declined during the first three postnatal weeks. In the internal granular layer of the main olfactory bulb, 89% of the granule cells were acquired postnatally. Much of the cellular gain occurred during the first 3 weeks, with the period of maximum acquisition between days 8 and 14. The number of subependymal cells, the precursors of granule cells, reached a peak at 12 days and gradually declined. But some primitive cells could still be found at one year of age and there was an increase in the total number of granule cells beyond day 30. The mean nuber of internal granular layer cells in a single main olfactory bulb of adult rats was about 5 X 10(6); the number of mitral cells about 4 X 10(4). In the animals injected with 3H-thymidine on day 20 and killed 2 h after injection a small but significant proportion of cells was labelled in the subependymal layer but few in the internal granular layer. In the animals killed 20 and 40 days after injection there was a 10--11-fold rise in the proportion of labelled internal granular layer cells. The proportion of labelled internal granular layer cells decreased in longer survival groups but the total number of labelled cells remained the same, even in year-old animals. However, the total number of internal granular layer cells in the sections examined increased with age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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