Development and Migration of Olfactory Neurones in the Nervous System of the Neonatal Opossum
The neonatal opossum (Monodelphis domestica) was used to assess how different populations of cells are generated in the olfactory region, and how they migrate along pathways to the central nervous system. Developing nerve cells were immunocytochemically labelled using antisera directed against two specific markers of olfactory receptor neurones: olfactory marker protein (OMP) and the dipeptide carnosine. In new-born opossums both carnosine and OMP are already co-expressed in primary olfactory neurones and in those axons that extend towards the olfactory bulb. Expression of these markers in olfactory receptor neurones during the first postnatal days reflects the advanced developmental state of this system compared to other regions of the central nervous system (such as the cortex and cerebellum), which are highly immature and less developed in comparison with those of new-born rats or mice. A second, distinct population of carnosine/OMP expressing cells was also identified during the first postnatal week. These neurones were present as clusters along the olfactory nerve bundles, on the ventral-medial aspect of the olfactory bulb and in the basal prosencephalon. The distribution of this cell population was compared to another group of well characterized migratory neurones derived from the olfactory placode, which express the decapeptide GnRH (Gonadotropin-releasing hormone, also known as LHRH). GnRH was never co-localized with carnosine/OMP in the same migratory cells. These observations show that distinct cell populations arise from the olfactory placode in the neonatal opossum and that they migrate to colonize the central nervous system by following common pathways.
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B
- Pub Date:
- October 1995