Terminal nerve in the mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis): Ontogenetic aspects



As in other mammals, ontogenesis of the terminal nerve (TN) in the mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis) starts shortly after the formation of the olfactory placode, a derivative of the ectoderm. During development of the olfactory pit, proliferating neuroblasts thicken the placodal epithelium and one cell population migrates toward the rostroventral tip of the telencephalon. Here they accumulate in a primordial terminal ganglion, which successively divides into smaller units. Initial fibers of the TN can be distinguished from olfactory fibers in the mid-embryonic period. The main TN fiber bundle (mfb) originates from the anteriormost ganglion in the nasal roof, whereas one or more inconstant smaller fiber bundles (sfb) originate from one or more smaller ganglia in the basal part of the rostral nasal septum. The fibers of the mfb and sfbs join in the posterior quarter of the nasal roof before reaching the central ganglion (M) located in the meninges medial to the olfactory bulb. From the mid-fetal period onward, a thin TN fiber bundle with some intermingled perikarya connects M to the brain by penetrating its wall rostral to the olfactory tubercle. Additional smaller ganglia may occur in this region. The TN and its ganglia persist in postnatal and adult bats but the number of perikarya is reduced here. Moreover, the different potential functions of the TN are discussed briefly. Anat Rec Part A, 288A:1201–1215, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.