Light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry were used to examine the structure of LHRH neurons and fibers in the nervus terminalis of the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).
LHRH-immunoreactive neurons and fibers form a loose plexus within the fascicular network of the ganglion terminale on the median surface of the olfactory bulb. There are at least two populations of LHRH-immunoreactive neurons within the network of the ganglion terminale: fusiform and round neurons similar to those described in the forebrain. At the ultrastructural level, axosomatic and axodendritic contacts were seen between LHRH-immunoreactive and nonimmunoreactive elements in the ganglion terminale. These contacts were classified as (1) synaptic input, with asymmetric synapses seen between a nonimmunoreactive axon terminal and a LHRH-immunoreactive cell body or a nonimmunoreactive axon terminal and a LHRH-immunoreactive dendritic process. (2) synaptic output, with symmetric synapses seen between LHRH-immunoreactive and nonimmunoreactive processes.
This study is the first systematic examination of the ultrastructure of the LHRH-immunoreactive neurons and their synaptic contacts in the nervus terminalis. The possible integrative roles for this LHRH-immunoreactive system are discussed.