The neurons containing substance P immunoreactivity in the main olfactory bulb of the hamster are located in the glomerular layer. Their cell bodies lie in the periglomerular region and contain spherical or ovoid nuclei which lack invaginations of the nuclear membrane and tend to be positioned eccentrically in the cell body. Dendrites of these neurons extend throughout the periglomerular region and project into the glomerular neuropil. Within the glomerular neuropil, processes with substance P immunoreactivity contain agranular, spherical synaptic vesicles. Primary olfactory axons, and processes of uncertain origin which contain pleomorphic synaptic vesicles, form synaptic contacts with substance P immunoreactive processes. These ultrastructural findings confirm that the substance P immunoreactive neurons are external tufted cells. Their likely physiological properties are considered in relation to the synaptic organization in the glomerular layer of the main olfactory bulb and to the other putative neurotransmitters or neuromodulators located in this layer.
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