Organization of the main olfactory bulb of lesser hedgehog tenrecs
Using a confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM) and an electron microscope, we investigated the organization of the main olfactory bulb (MOB) of tenrecs, which were previously included into insectivores but now considered to be in a new order "Afrosoricida" in the superclade 'Afrotheria'. We confirmed that the overall structural organization of the tenrec MOB was similar to that of rodents: (1) the compartmental organization of glomeruli and two types of periglomerular cells we proposed as the common organizational principles were present; (2) there were characteristic dendrodendritic and axo-dendritic synapses in the glomerulus and external plexiform layer (EPL) and gap junctions in glomeruli; and (3) no nidi, particular synaptic regions reported only in laboratory musk shrew and mole MOBs, were encountered. However, instead of nidi, we often observed a few tangled olfactory nerves (ONs) with large irregular boutons in the glomerular-external plexiform layer border zone, with which dendrites of various displaced periglomerular cells were usually found to be intermingled. Electron microscopic (EM) examinations confirmed characteristic large mossy terminal-like ON terminals making asymmetrical synapses to presumed mitral/tufted cell and displaced periglomerular cell dendrites. In addition, gap junctions were also encountered between dendritic processes in these tiny particular regions, further showing their resemblance to glomeruli.
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