Localization of the primordial vomeronasal organ and its relationship to the associated gland in lungfish

Authors

  • Shoko Nakamuta,

    1. Laboratory of Veterinary Anatomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Iwate University, Morioka, Japan
    2. United Graduate School of Veterinary Sciences, Gifu University, Gifu, Japan
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  • Nobuaki Nakamuta,

    1. Laboratory of Veterinary Anatomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Iwate University, Morioka, Japan
    2. United Graduate School of Veterinary Sciences, Gifu University, Gifu, Japan
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  • Kazumi Taniguchi,

    1. Laboratory of Veterinary Anatomy, School of Veterinary Medicine, Kitasato University, Towada, Japan
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  • Kazuyuki Taniguchi

    Corresponding author
    1. United Graduate School of Veterinary Sciences, Gifu University, Gifu, Japan
    • Laboratory of Veterinary Anatomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Iwate University, Morioka, Japan
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Correspondence

Kazuyuki Taniguchi, Laboratory of Veterinary Anatomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Iwate University, 3-18-8 Ueda, Morioka, Iwate 020-8550, Japan. T: +81 19 6216207; F: +81 19 6216209; E: anatomia@iwate-u.ac.jp

Abstract

The lungfish, the closest fish to tetrapods, has two types of sensory epithelia in the olfactory organ: the lamellar olfactory epithelium and the recess epithelium. The former resembles the olfactory epithelium of ordinary teleosts and the latter resembles the vomeronasal organ of tetrapods with respect to the G-protein expressions and the morphological properties of olfactory receptor cells. In contrast to the lamellar olfactory epithelium covering the surface of olfactory lamella, the recess epithelium, together with the glandular epithelium, lines the recesses at the base of olfactory lamellae and is separated from the surrounding tissues by nonsensory epithelium. In the present study, we examined the distribution of these recesses and the relationship between the recess epithelium and the associated gland in the nasal sac of lungfish. We found that the posterior part of the nasal sac contained more recesses than the anterior one, and the medial one contained more recesses than the lateral one. In addition, virtually all recesses consisted of both the recess epithelium and the glandular epithelium. Furthermore, the glandular epithelium was invariably situated proximal to the midline raphe of the nasal sac, and the recess epithelium distal to it. Possible roles of the recess epithelium and the glandular epithelium are discussed.

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