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J Anat. 1996 Apr;188 ( Pt 2):445-54.

The vomeronasal organ of the cat.

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Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Lugo, Spain.


The vomeronasal organ of the cat was studied macroscopically, by light microscopy and by immunohistochemical techniques. Special attention was paid to the general distribution of the various soft tissue components of this organ (duct, glands, connective tissue, blood vessels and nerves.) Examination of series of transverse sections showed that the wall of the vomeronasal duct bears 44 different types of epithelium: simple columnar in the caudal part of the duct, respiratory and receptor respectively on the lateral and medial walls of the middle part of the duct, and stratified squamous rostrally. The pattern of distribution of other soft tissue components was closely associated with that of epithelium types. In areas where the duct wall was lined with receptor epithelium, nerves and connective tissue were present between the epithelium and the medial sheet of the vomeronasal cartilage. Most glands and blood vessels were located lateral to those areas of the duct wall lined with respiratory epithelium. Numerous basal cells were present in the sensory epithelium. Understanding of the distribution of the soft tissue components of this organ may shed light on its function.

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