Myelination of the developing lateral olfactory tract and anterior commissure

L. N. Collins, D. L. Hill, P. C. Brunjes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Both the lateral olfactory tract (LOT) and anterior limb of the anterior commissure (AC) carry olfactory information. The LOT forms the projection from the olfactory bulb to the ipsilateral olfactory cortices, while the AC carries odor information across the midline to the contralateral olfactory cortex and bulb. The LOT and AC differ on a number of dimensions, including early development and functional onset. The present work, examining their myelination in mice, reveals additional important differences. For example, the LOT initiates myelination 3–4 days earlier than the AC, evidenced by both an earlier increase in myelin basic protein staining seen with immunohistochemistry and an earlier appearance of myelinated fibers using electron microscopy. While both exhibit a period of rapid myelination, it occurs 4–5 days earlier in the LOT than the AC. The tracts also respond differently to early sensory restriction. Unilateral naris occlusion from the day after birth to postnatal day 30 had no consistent effects on the AC but resulted in significantly thinner myelin sheaths relative to axon caliber in the LOT. Finally, the two tracts differ structurally (the LOT contains larger, more densely packed axons with significantly thicker myelin sheaths resulting in a conduction velocity that is more than twice as fast as the AC). The findings indicate that these two large, accessible tracts provide an important means for studying brain maturation due to basic differences in both the timing of their maturation and general organization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1843-1858
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


  • RRID: AB_10141047
  • RRID: AB_11213678
  • RRID: AB_2057371
  • RRID: AB_2140491
  • RRID: AB_2236897
  • electron microscopy
  • immunohistochemistry
  • myelin precursors
  • olfactory cortex
  • oligodendrocytes


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