A detailed morphological study of the vomeronasal organ and the accessory olfactory bulb of cats

Authors

  • Ignacio Salazar,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anatomy and Animal Production, Unit of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary, University of Santiago de Compostela, Lugo 27002, Spain
    • Department of Anatomy and Animal Production, Unit of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary, 27002 Lugo, Spain
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  • Pablo Sánchez-Quinteiro

    1. Department of Anatomy and Animal Production, Unit of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary, University of Santiago de Compostela, Lugo 27002, Spain
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Abstract

The organization of the vomeronasal system (VNS) of fetal, newborn, and adult cats was investigated by microdissection and microscopic examination of sections stained conventionally or with lectins (UEA-1, LEA) or antibodies against proteins Gαi2 (associated with vomeronasal receptor type1) and Gαo (associated with receptor vomeronasal receptor type2). The feline VNS is morphologically similar to that of other mammals. Staining with lectins and anti-Gαi2 was uniform throughout the sensory epithelium of the vomeronasal organ, and throughout the nervous and glomerular layers of the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB); anti-Gαo stained no VNS tissue. This organization places the cat together with several other domestic or farm animals (dog, horse, sheep, goat, pig) in a group of mammals with just a single path of communication between the sensory epithelium of the vomeronasal organ and AOB, in contrast to the two-path model found in rodents and other mammals (in which apical and basal sensory epithelium layers project to rostral and caudal AOB areas, respectively). However, the cat differs from the sheep and pig in that the development of its VNS is still incomplete at birth. Microsc. Res. Tech. 2011. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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