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Stereological Estimation Of Olfactory Receptor Neurons In Rats.

K. Kawagishi, Mai Ando, K. Yokouchi, N. Sumitomo, Mika Karasawa, N. Fukushima, T. Moriizumi
Published 2015 · Biology, Medicine

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The total number of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) in the rat main olfactory epithelium (MOE) was estimated using stereological sampling. Skulls and noses of newborn (postnatal day 0), young adult (8 weeks), and adult (6 months) rats were decalcified, embedded in paraffin, cut into 10-μm thick sections serially at 100-μm intervals, and processed for immunohistochemistry for olfactory marker protein (OMP), a specific marker of mature ORNs with fiber connections to the olfactory bulb. The number of OMP (+) receptor neurons was measured using an optical fractionator with stereological software (Stereoinvestigator). The total number of OMP (+) receptor neurons in the unilateral MOE was 0.47 × 10(6) in newborns and 21 × 10(6) in young adults and adults. Our previous study showed that the corresponding unilateral total number of neurons was 5.2 × 10(6) in young adult mice. Accordingly, we concluded that rats had 4 times more OMP (+) receptor neurons than mice at the adult stage and that the number of these neurons increased approximately 45 times between birth and maturity.
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