Revisiting the Vomeronasal System From an Integrated Perspective

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

Research output: Contribution to journalNotepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. “Olfactory subsystems” is a relatively new terminology to refer to the different regions of the nasal cavity featuring olfactory sensory neurons. In mice, the olfactory chemical cues are detected in four well delimited areas: the main olfactory epithelium, the septal organ, Grüneberg's ganglion, and the sensory epithelium of the vomeronasal organ. Nevertheless, such distribution is by no means exhibited by all mammals. In microsmatic mammals –humans included– the only existing olfactory subsystem is the main olfactory epithelium. This raises the question of whether the lack of certain olfactory structures in those species implies that they are unable to identify certain olfactory signals, or on the contrary, their main olfactory epithelium assumes such role. It would be interesting to determine, in the context of biomedical research, if the sense of smell in humans is fully or partially endowed with the wide range of functions assigned to the vomeronasal system in mice. If it is not, presumptive implications of the lack of such functions should be addressed in human health and well-being. Anat Rec, 299:1488–1491, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1488-1491
Number of pages4
JournalAnatomical Record
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016


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