Dog and mouse: Toward a balanced view of the mammalian olfactory system

Arthur W. Barrios, Pablo Sánchez-Quinteiro, Ignacio Salazar

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30 Scopus citations


Although the most intensively studied mammalian olfactory system is that of the mouse, in which olfactory chemical cues of one kind or another are detected in four different nasal areas [the main olfactory epithelium (MOE), the septal organ (SO), Grüneberg's ganglion, and the sensory epithelium of the vomeronasal organ (VNO)], the extraordinarily sensitive olfactory system of the dog is also an important model that is increasingly used, for example in genomic studies of species evolution. Here we describe the topography and extent of the main olfactory and vomeronasal sensory epithelia of the dog, and we report finding no structures equivalent to the Grüneberg ganglion and SO of the mouse. Since we examined adults, newborns, and fetuses we conclude that these latter structures are absent in dogs, possibly as the result of regression or involution. The absence of a vomeronasal component based on VR2 receptors suggests that the VNO may be undergoing a similar involutionary process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106
JournalFrontiers in Neuroanatomy
Issue numberSEP
StatePublished - 25 Sep 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Barrios, Sánchez-Quinteiro and Salazar.


  • Dog
  • Evolution
  • Morphology
  • Olfactory epithelium
  • Olfactory subsystems


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