The olfactory bulb structure of African giant rat (Cricetomys gambianus, Waterhouse 1840) I: cytoarchitecture

Document Type



Brain and Mind Institute


The olfactory system typically consists of two parallel systems: the main olfactory system and the accessory olfactory system. The main olfactory bulb (MOB) acts as the initial processing site for volatile chemical stimuli and receives input from the olfactory receptor cells located in the olfactory epithelium. The African giant rat is reputed to have abilities to detect landmines and tuberculosis samples by sniffing. This study therefore is a preliminary study on the histological and immunohistochemical anatomy of the olfactory bulb of the African giant rat (Cricetomys gambianus, Waterhouse). Nissl and Klüver–Barrera histological staining of the olfactory bulb revealed a cytoarchitecture typical of most mammals with 6 cell layers, and 1–2-layered glomeruli measuring approximately 150 μm each in diameter. Immunohistochemical staining with glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and 2′,3′-cyclic nucleotide 3-phosphodiesterase (CNPase) revealed cellular conformations relative to most mammals. GFAP immunohistochemistry also revealed cell bodies and processes within the periglomerular area which may potentiate signaling from the olfactory receptor cells, while CNPase largely showed soma and evidence of myelin sheath deposition, confirming myelination at different layers of the bulb. Neurogenesis was examined using the neurogenic markers doublecortin (DCX) and Ki-67. Migration of newly generated cells was observed in all layers of the MOB with DCX and in most layers with Ki-67. The anatomy of the olfactory bulb is described as relatively large in the African giant rat, having a neuroarchitecture similar to most rodents.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Anatomical Science International