• arteries;
  • calves;
  • erectile tissue;
  • veins;
  • vomeronasal reception


The general morphology of the vomeronasal vessels in adult cows was studied following a classic protocol, including optical, confocal and ultrastructural approaches. This anatomical work was completed immunohistochemically. The vomeronasal organ in cows is well developed, and its vessels are considerable in size. This fact allowed some functional properties of the vomeronasal arteries to be evaluated and, for the first time, their isometric tension to be recorded.

Our functional studies were in agreement with the immunohistochemistry, and both corroborated the morphological data on the similarity between the vomeronasal vessels and those of the typical erectile tissue. In consequence, the vasoconstriction and vasodilation of the vomeronasal vessels would facilitate an influx and outflow of fluids in the vomeronasal organ, that is to say, this organ in cows would be able to work as a pump mechanism to send chemical signals to the vomeronasal receptor neurones.