Distribution of protein gene product 9.5-immunopositive and NADPH-diaphorase-positive neurons in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) accessory olfactory bulb.
The distribution and morphology of Neuropeptide Y-immunoreactive (NPY-ir) neurons in the olfactory bulb and the olfactory peduncle was studied in the adult cat and rat, and the common marmoset Callithrix jacchus. Significant species differences were not observed. In all three species, the population of NPY-ir neurons is localized in the white matter extending from the main olfactory bulb to the border of the striatum. The neurons are characterized by a conspicuously looping axonal ramification pattern with some major collaterals running toward the olfactory bulb and others running toward the internal olfactory tract. The former, ipsilateral projection terminates in the granule cell layer of the main and accessory olfactory bulb and in layer II/III of the anterior olfactory nucleus. Reconstruction of the latter projection has revealed that the fibers are continuous with the olfactory limb of the anterior commissure and the anterior commissure proper suggesting a commissural contralateral projection. The analysis of the postnatal development of the cat NPY neuron system supports this assumption in a very clear-cut way. In young animals growing fibers are observed to cross the brachium of the commissure. The NPY neuron system develops postnatally. The maximum cell number is reached during the third postnatal week. The appearance of more and more NPY-ir neurons slightly precedes the formation of the terminal fields and of the fiber projection in the internal olfactory tract. The density of this early fiber projection by far exceeds the fiber density observed in the adult. Later in development the fiber density in the olfactory limb and the anterior commissure becomes considerably reduced. In contrast, the plexus density in the anterior olfactory nucleus and the granule cell layer of the main and accessory olfactory bulb undergoes only a slight reduction, and the NPY-ir cell number remains roughly constant. These observations suggest that the ipsilateral NPY-ir projection remains largely unchanged, in contrast to the contralateral projection, which exists to a large extent only for the first four postnatal months. The observation that the NPY neuron system gives rise to a contralateral projection does not support a classification of NPY neurons as short axon cells.