Morphology of developing olfactory axons in the olfactory bulb of the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus): A Golgi study

Deniz M. Yilmazer-Hanke, Robyn Hudson, Hans Distel

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Transient expression of axon collaterals plays an important role in enabling neurons to find appropriate targets during development. In the olfactory bulb, the numbers of both sensory neurons and their targets, the glomeruli, increase markedly during the postnatal period. In the present study, the morphology of developing olfactory axons in the olfactory bulb of 1-21-day-old rabbits was analyzed using stereological methods and the rapid Golgi technique. The findings demonstrated a change in axon morphology from the olfactory nerve layer to the glomeruli suggestive of a sequence in axon development. In the olfactory nerve layer, axons typically had knob-like growth cones and a few collateral branches. Close to glomeruli, axons increased in thickness, formed rather complex and irregular growth cones, and typically gave off many collaterals. Within glomeruli, the axons formed terminal branches and boutons. Extraglomerular branches were apparently removed once axons had entered a glomerulus, insofar as these branches often displayed morphological signs of degeneration. In contrast, collateral branches ending in the same glomerulus remained, indicating that formation of collaterals may assist olfactory axons in locating glomerular targets. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-80
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 9 2000
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

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