Neurogenesis in the olfactory bulb of the frog xenopus laevis shows unique patterns during embryonic development and metamorphosis

Anne Fritz, Dennis L. Gorlick, Gail D. Burd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We determined the time of origin of neurons in the olfactory bulb of the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Tritiated thymidine injections were administered to frog embryos and tadpoles from gastrulation (stage 11/12) through metamorphosis (stage 65), paraffin sections were processed for autoradiography, and the distribution of heavily and lightly labeled cells was examined. In the ventral olfactory bulb, we observed that the mitral cells were born as early as stage 11/12 and continued to be generated through the end of metamorphosis. Interneurons (periglomerular and granule cells) were not born in the ventral bulb until stage 41, and birth of these cells also continued through metamorphosis. Labeled cells were observed in the accessory olfactory bulb, beginning at stage 41. In contrast, the cells of the dorsal olfactory bulb were not born until the onset of metamorphosis (stage 54); at this stage in the dorsal bulb, the genesis of mitral cells, interneurons, and glial cells completely overlapped. The results indicate that olfactory axon innervation is not necessary to induce early stages of neurogenesis in the ventral olfactory bulb. On the other hand, the results on the dorsal olfactory bulb are consistent with the hypothesis that innervation from new or transformed sensory neurons in the principal cavity induces neurogenesis in the dorsal bulb.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)931-943
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Nov 1996


  • Amphibian metamorphosis
  • Cell birth dating
  • Neural development
  • Neurogenesis
  • Olfactory axons
  • Olfactory bulb
  • Sensory afferents
  • Sensory development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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