, Volume 184, Issue 5, pp 469-477

An immunocytochemical study of the development of the olfactory system in the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus L., Teleostei)


Antisera against a variety of substances have been found to produce an identical immunoreaction in the developing olfactory system of a teleost, the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). The label is localized in the olfactory placode, the olfactory nerve and those parts of the secondary olfactory tracts which constitute the dorsal descending fascicles and the ventral descending fibers of the medial olfactory tract. The label was first detected 3 days after fertilization (3D) in the olfactory placode where labeled supporting cells were observed. At 4D, the label was observed at the site of the developing olfactory bulbs. At 7D, the olfactory placode lost the direct contact with the brain and the labeled olfactory nerve became visible. At the same time, the medial olfactory tract emerged from the bulbs, and contacts with cells in the nucleus of the terminal nerve were observed. The development of the medial olfactory tract proceeded caudally, and by the end of I OD, the olfactory tract reached the periventricular hypothalamus. Pre-absorption of the antisera with the respective antigens did not abolish the capacity of the antisera to produce the label. The immunoreaction is thus not specific for the antigens against which the antisera have been raised. Yet the label produced by the immunoreaction is an extremely reliable marker for the primary olfactory tract, and the only existing marker by which secondary olfactory tracts can be visualized.