Histology and surface morphology of the olfactory epithelium in the freshwater teleost Clupisoma garua (Hamilton, 1822)

  • Saroj Kumar Ghosh
Keywords: Clupisoma garua, olfactory mucosa, receptor neurons, chemosensation


The anatomical structure of the olfactory organ and the organization of various cells lining the olfactory mucosa of Clupisoma garua (Siluriformes; Schilbeidae) were investigated with light and scanning electron microscopy. The olfactory organ was composed of numerous lamellae of various sizes, radiating outward from both sides of the narrow midline raphe, forming an elongated rosette. Each lamella consisted of the olfactory epithelium and a central lamellar space, the central core. The epithelium covering the surface of the rosette folds was differentiated into zones of sensory and indifferent epithelia. The sensory part of epithelium was characterized by three types of morphologically distinct receptor neurons: ciliated receptor cells, microvillous receptor cells, and rod receptor cells for receiving olfactory sensation from the aquatic environment. The indifferent epithelium comprising a large surface area of the lamella, was covered with compact non-sensory cilia. The non-sensory epithelium contained stratified epithelial cells with microridges, mucin secreting mucous cells, labyrinth cells, and basal cells, which were arranged in a layer at the base of the epithelium. Various cells on the olfactory epithelium were correlated with the functional significance of the fish concerned.