Neurons with gonadotropin releasing hormone-like immunoreactivity (GnRH-ir) were identified within the peripheral olfactory system of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) at multiple life history stages. Within the forebrain, GnRH-ir somata were found in the preoptic area and in the caudomedial olfactory bulb in a position comparable to the ganglion of the nervus terminalis of other teleosts. Somata positive for GnRH were also found throughout the rostro-caudal extent of the olfactory nerve, and clustered within the medial component of the olfactory nerve as it arises from the olfactory epithelium. Results from tract tracing experiments with horseradish peroxidase indicate that at least some cells in this cluster project to the retina, suggesting that they too are part of a terminal nerve ganglion as anatomically defined in other vertebrates. We suggest that the presence of a distinct cluster of terminal nerve ganglion cells in the immediate vicinity of the olfactory epithelium may point to a peripheral site of neuromodulatory control in the olfactory system in salmon and perhaps in other teleosts as well.

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