, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 1-18

Neurogenesis and neuron regeneration in the olfactory system of mammals. I. Morphological aspects of differentiation and structural organization of the olfactory sensory neurons

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Summary

The neurogenetic process leading to the formation of primary sensory neurons persists into adult life in the olfactory epithelium of mammals. The morphological stages of maturation and ageing of this exceptional neuron have been described both at light and electron microscopical levels. For descriptive purposes the neural elements have been classified as: (1) basal cells proper, (2) globose basal cells, and (3) neurons. Intermediate stages, however, have been identified. Autoradiographic observations complement the morphological studies and provide a time sequence of the morphological stages leading to the mature neurons.

A typical columnar arrangement of the sensory neurons has been described. Furthermore, active and quiescent zones have been recognized in the neuroepithelium. In the active zones the neurogenetic process is vigorous, and the zones are characterized by the presence of immature elements. However, in the quiescent zones there exists a population of mature elements while immature neurons are sparse.