Efferent projections of the main and the accessory olfactory bulb in the tree shrew (Tupaia glis).
The projections of the main and the accessory olfactory bulb in the tree shrew (Tupaia glis) have been analyzed with anterograde degeneration and autoradiographic methods for identifying axonal projections, and with the horseradish peroxidase method for identifying the distribution of neurons from which these projections originate. The cytoarchitectonic features of the paleocortical areas which receive projections from the main and the accessory olfactory bulb have also been described. The efferent projections of the accessory olfactory bulb are distributed to the bed nucleus of the accessory olfactory tract, the medial amygdaloid area, the posteromedial cortical amygdaloid area, and to the caudal portion of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. In contrast, the efferent projections of the main olfactory bulb are distributed to the anterior olfactory nucleus, the tenia tecta, the olfactory tubercle, the pyriform cortex, the anterior cortical amygdaloid area, the posterolateral cortical amygdaloid area, and to the lateral entorhinal cortex. These observations are consistent with the notion that the olfactory system can be divided into at least two major subsystems: one related to the vomeronasal organ and accessory olfactory bulb, and another related to the main olfactory organ and main olfactory bulb. The paleocortical areas receiving olfactory projections have three basic layers: a superficially positioned plexiform layer (layer I), a pyramidal cell layer (layer II), and a polymorphic cell layer (layer III). The projections of both the main and the accessory olfactory bulb terminate in the outer portion of the plexiform layer (sublamina Ia). Sublamina Ia contains the distal segments of dendrites which originate from a heterogeneous population of neurons located in layer II and, to a lesser extent, layer III. Although the efferent projections of the main and the accessory olfactory bulb are segregated, evidence for a more refined topographical organization within these projections was not obtained. However, the distribution of retrogradely labeled neurons in the main olfactory bulb, following injections of horseradish peroxidase into its various paleocortical targets, indicates that the olfactory projections to these areas may not all originate from the same population of cells.
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