Journal of Neurocytology

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 145–162 | Cite as

Neurogenesis and neuron regeneration in the olfactory system of mammals. III. Deafferentation and reinnervation of the olfactory bulb following section of thefila olfactoria in rat

  • P. P. C. Graziadei
  • G. A. Monti Graziadei


Axotomy at the level of thelamina cribrosa in rat induces rapid degeneration of the olfactory sensory axons in the bulb. The phenomenon, which is limited to the layer of olfactory fibres and to the glomeruli of the bulb, can be observed as early as 15–24 h after surgery, and peaks at 3–4 days. The glomeruli located in the rostro-ventral portion of the bulb are affected first, and the process extends to the dorso-caudal portion with a delay of 12–24 h. Reactive hypertrophy of the glia coincides with removal of the degenerating terminals, and is maximal 48 h after axotomy.

Axotomy does not preclude reinnervation of the bulb by axons originating from new, reconstituted neurons in the olfactory neuroepithelium. These new axons begin to reach the periphery of the bulb approximately at the 20th day post-operative and then reinnervate the glomeruli. The rostro-ventral portion of the bulb is the first to be reinvaded by the new axons. The glomeruli reacquire a morphological pattern similar to controls between 20 and 30 days.


Olfactory Bulb Olfactory System Morphological Pattern Neuron Regeneration Sensory Axon 
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© Chapman and Hall Ltd 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. P. C. Graziadei
    • 1
  • G. A. Monti Graziadei
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological ScienceFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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