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Immunohistochemistry of the Canine Vomeronasal Organ

By JC Dennis, JG Allgier, LS Desouza, WC Edward, EE Morrison

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The canine's olfactory acuity is legendary, but neither its main olfactory system nor its vomeronasal system has been described in much detail. We used immunohistochemistry on paraffin-embedded sections of male and female adult dog vomeronasal organ (VNO) to characterize the expression of proteins known to be expressed in the VNO of several other mammals. Basal cell bodies were more apparent in each section than in rodent VNO and expressed immunoreactivity to anticytokeratin and antiepidermal growth factor receptor antibodies. The thin layer of neurone cell bodies in the sensory epithelium and axon fascicles in the lamina propria expressed immunoreactivity to neurone cell adhesion molecule, neurone-specific beta tubulin and protein gene product 9.5. Some neurones expressed growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43): and a number of those also expressed neurone-specific beta tubulin-immunoreactivity. Some axon fascicles were double labelled for those two proteins. The G-protein alpha subunits Gi and Go, involved in the signal transduction pathway, showed immunoreactivity in the sensory cell layer. Our results demonstrate that the canine vomeronasal organ contains a population of cells that expresses several neuronal markers. Furthermore, GAP43 immunoreactivity suggests that the sensory epithelium is neurogenic in adult dogs.


Angel Tobey

Purdue University

Date 2003
Publication Title Journal of Anatomy
Volume 202
Issue 6
Pages 515-524
ISBN/ISSN 0021-8782
DOI 10.1046/j.1469-7580.2003.00190.x
URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1571110/
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal physiology
  2. Animal roles
  3. Animals
  4. Animal science
  5. Canidae
  6. Canine
  7. Carnivores
  8. Cells
  9. Dogs
  10. Epithelium
  11. Hormones
  12. Immunohistochemistry
  13. Mammals
  14. nerve cells
  15. neurons
  16. nose
  17. open access
  18. peer-reviewed
  19. Pets and companion animals
  20. proteins
  21. Science
  22. skin
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed