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Brain Behav Evol. 1993;41(3-5):147-55.

Overview of the main and accessory olfactory bulb projections in reptiles.

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Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The present account is a review of the main and accessory olfactory bulb projections in reptiles. From previous studies by means of the classical degeneration techniques and recent studies using the autoradiographic method or the Phaseolus vulgarus-leucoagglutinin (PHA-L) tracing technique, it has become evident that, in the brain of reptiles, the vomeronasal and main olfactory systems are segregated. Moreover, the PHA-L studies have demonstrated that the main olfactory bulbs project not only to the anterior olfactory nucleus, the olfactory tubercle, and the lateral cortex, but also to the rostral portions of the external and central amygdaloid nuclei. The latter studies also provided evidence that, apart from a massive projection to the nucleus sphericus, at least in some reptilian species, the accessory olfactory bulbs project to the caudal portion of the central amygdaloid nucleus and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. A comparison of the olfactory projections between the various reptilian species studied revealed a considerable variation in the course of the main olfactory bulb efferents that reach the contralateral hemisphere.

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