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Keywords:

  • Golgi method;
  • short-axon cells;
  • granule cells

Abstract

The cytoarchitecture of the olfactory bulb and the cell types in the granular layer of adult hedgehogs have been studied with the Golgi method. The mitral cell layer does not stand out as a monolayer as in most mammals; it is arranged as a diffuse stratum with mitral cells displaced into the external plexiform layer. The external plexiform layer is exceedingly thick and contains the branches of peripheral processes of granule cells and displaced mitral and tufted cells. The granular layer contains granule cells and varieties of short-axon cells. Among granule cells a type of cell with an elaborate system of protrusions close to the cell body has been found. Four main varieties of short-axon cells are described. These include cells with local or extended axons, according to the branching pattern of their axons inside the granular layer or extending into the external plexiform layer as well. Short-axon cells were also classified as cells with smooth and spinous dendrites. A variety of cell with smooth dendrites and elaborate axonal system reaching the periglomerular zone is described. This type of cell has been found frequently in the olfactory bulb of the hedgehog. In comparison to several other mammals, short-axon cells in the olfactory bulb of the hedgehog have been found to be particularly abundant and to have more complex axonal systems. It is suggested that some of them may represent inhibitory interneurons acting upon granule and periglomerular cells, playing an important role in the centrifugal pathway controlling the olfactory input.