The accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) is a primary center of the vomeronasal system. In the dog, the position and morphology of the AOB remained vague for a long time. Recently, the morphological characteristics of the dog AOB were demonstrated by means of lectin-histochemical, histological, and immunohistochemical staining, although the distribution of each kind of neuron, especially granule cells, remains controversial in the dog AOB. In the present study, we examined the distribution of neuronal elements in the dog AOB by means of immunohistochemical and enzyme-histochemical staining. Horizontal paraffin or frozen sections of the dog AOB were immunostained with antisera against protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5), brain nitric oxide synthase (NOS), glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), substance P (SP), and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) by avidin-biotin peroxidase complex method. In addition, frozen sections were stained enzyme-histochemically for NADPH-diaphorase. In the dog AOB, vomeronasal nerve fibers, glomeruli, and mitral/tufted cells were PGP 9.5-immunopositive. Mitral/tufted cells were observed in the glomerular layer (GL) and the neuronal cell layer (NCL). In the NCL, a small number of NOS-, GAD-, and SP-immunopositive and NADPHdiaphorase positive granule cells were observed. In the GL, GAD-, TH-, and VIP-immunopositive periglomerular cells were observed. In the GL and the NCL, TH-, and VIP-immunopositive short axon cells were also observed. In addition to these neurons, TH-and SP-immunopositive afferent fibers were observed in the GL and the NCL. We could distinctly demonstrate the distribution of neuronal elements in the dog AOB. Since only a small number of granule cells were present in the dog AOB, the dog AOB did not display such a well-developed GCL as observed in the other mammals. Anat.
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