Microvascular Anatomy of Olfactory and Accessory Olfactory (Vomeronasal) Organs in Adult Xenopus laevis: Scanning Electron Microscopy of Vascular Corrosion Casts

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Lametschwandtner, A. & Minnich, B.


Microvascular anatomy and histomorphology of olfactory and vomeronasal organs in adult Xenopus laevis Daudin were studied by scanning electron microscopy of vascular corrosion casts and paraplast embedded stained serial tissue sections. Results show that the arterial supply is bilaterally by terminal arterioles of the medial branch of the nasal artery and by the palatal artery. Arterioles give rise to a capillary meshwork characteristic for respiratory surfaces in principal chambers and in dorsal and caudal areas of middle chambers. Anterior and inferior areas of the middle chambers own a distinctly different capillary network with conspicuous short capillary loops. Loops have a dilated tip and extend in acute angles towards the chamber lumen. The vomeronasal organ (VNO) locates beneath the olfactory organ. It has a medial to lateral extension and attaches with its caudal circumference to the medial nasal glands. Its capillary bed displays rectangular meshes which preferentially orientate along the long axis of the VNO. Locally, capillaries form short hairpin-like or strongly twisted loops with dilated tips which point towards the lumen of the VNO. These capillaries slow-down blood velocity and may lead to an increased exchange of oxygen, nutrients and water-borne odorants in the middle chambers and of pheromones in the VNO. In the latter vascular structures are present which might serve as a vascular pump.

KEY WORDS: Xenopus; Olfactory organs; Microvasculature; Vascular corrosion casts; Scanning electron microscopy.

How to cite this article

LAMETSCHWANDTNER, A. & MINNICH, B. Microvascular anatomy of olfactory and accessory olfactory (vomeronasal) organs in adult Xenopus laevis: Scanning electron microscopy of vascular corrosion casts. Int. J. Morphol., 36(3):1007-1015, 2018