Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Biological Sciences


Biology, Neuroscience.




The development of the respiratory and olfactory mucosae from the old world monkey, Macaca nemestrina, from fetal (F) 121 days to postnatal (P) 9.5 years, has been examined by light and electron microscopy. By F121 days, respiratory and olfactory mucosae appeared to be morphologically capable to carry out their required functions. Olfactory receptor cells were well developed with the presence of a ciliated olfactory knob and abundant dendritic microtubules. At the light and electron microscopic levels, prenatal receptor cells were differentiated into pale, intermediate and dark cells. The lightly stained receptor cells appeared to be young. They were sparsely ciliated and had dendritic centrioles and mitochondria. The receptor cells with intermediate staining appeared to be mature. The olfactory knobs contained mitochondria and basal bodies associated with the cilia. The nuclei of the darkly stained electron dense receptor cells were located distally in the olfactory epithelium. Although these receptor cells retained their tight junctions and nuclear structure, they showed intracellular changes indicative of apoptotic degeneration, including disrupted plasma membranes, cytoplasmic multivesicular bodies and an apparent contraction of cytoplasmic volume. The number of olfactory receptor cells counted along a 1 mm length of olfactory epithelium showed the greatest density of cells just prior to and just after birth. This apparent high density of olfactory receptor cells during the perinatal period correlates with evidence from other studies that the olfactory system is highly discriminatory at these ages. The number of receptor cells were quantified in a 1 mm$\sp2$ surface area and percentage of dark receptor cells was found to be 8% in the F121 day stage and 12% in the F158 day stage. This 4% increase in the number of degenerating olfactory receptor cells may be the result of the increased density of receptor cells competing for neurotrophic factors at the later prenatal stage. The locations of receptor cells were mapped. These receptor cells were located in small clusters scattered through the olfactory epithelium. Degenerating receptor cells appeared to be scattered over the surface, more frequently occuring near the clusters. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 31-04, page: 1678. Thesis (M.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1992.