Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 364, Issue 1, pp 43–57 | Cite as

Neuroanatomical relationships between FMRFamide-immunoreactive components of the nervus terminalis and the topology of olfactory bulbs in teleost fish

  • Biagio D’Aniello
  • Gianluca Polese
  • Luciano Luongo
  • Anna Scandurra
  • Laura Magliozzi
  • Massimo Aria
  • Claudia Pinelli
Regular Article


The nervus terminalis (NT) is the most anterior of the vertebrate cranial nerves. In teleost fish, the NT runs across all olfactory components and shows high morphological variability within this taxon. We compare the anatomical distribution, average number and size of the FMRFamide-immunoreactive (ir) NT cells of fourteen teleost species with different positions of olfactory bulbs (OBs) with respect to the ventral telencephalic area. Based on the topology of the OBs, three different neuroanatomical organizations of the telencephalon can be defined, viz., fish having sessile (Type I), pseudosessile (short stalked; Type II) or stalked (Type III) OBs. Type III topology of OBs appears to be a feature associated with more basal species, whereas Types I and II occur in derived and in basal species. The displacement of the OBs is positively correlated with the peripheral distribution of the FMRFamide-ir NT cells. The number of cells is negatively correlated with the size of the cells. A dependence analysis related to the type of OB topology revealed a positive relationship with the number of cells and with the size of the cells, with Type I and II topologies of OBs showing significantly fewer cells and larger cells than Type III. A dendrogram based on similarities obtained by taking into account all variables under study, i.e., the number and size of the FMRFamide-ir NT cells and the topology of OBs, does not agree with the phylogenetic relationships amongst species, suggesting that divergent or convergent evolutionary phenomena produced the olfactory components studied.


Nervus terminalis Nucleus olfactoretinalis Brain FMRFamide Fish 



The authors wish to thank Prof. William K. Stell for his valuable advice regarding the interpretation of the data.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of Naples “Federico II”NaplesItaly
  2. 2.Department of Environmental, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and TechnologiesSecond University of NaplesCasertaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Biological and Technological ScienceUniversity of SalentoLecceItaly
  4. 4.Department of Economics and Statistical ScienceUniversity of Naples “Federico II”NaplesItaly

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