The structure and prenatal morphogenesis of the nasal septum in the rat

Branislav Vidić, Harry G. Greditzer, William J. Litchy

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7 Scopus citations


One hundred fetuses of the Sprague‐Dawley rat were used: ten for each prenatal day, beginning with the twelfth day of gestation. Pregnant animals were sacrificed, fetuses removed and subsequently fixed in buffered formalin solution. Fetal heads were dehydrated, embedded in paraffin, and sectioned serially in the rostrocaudal direction at 10 to 15 μ. Serial sections from fetuses representing each day of gestation were stained with either H and E, Mallory's trichrome procedure, Gomori's reaction for alkaline phosphatase, or Steedman's alcian blue reaction. At the twelfth day, the primary nasal cavities were first observed. One day later, the nasobuccal membrane was established, and the vomeronasal organ invaginated into the nasal septum. Following the rupture of the membrane, at the fourteenth day, the nasal and buccal cavities remained in communication until the palatal shelves fused with the septum, at the seventeenth day. Prior to the thirteenth day, the septal skeleton is mesenchymal. The ossification in the vomer started at the sixteenth day and expanded progressively throughout prenatal life. First glandular primordia, one on each side of the septum, were observed during the sixteenth day, the number increased to five at term. The ducts ended in single blind sacs, before the eighteenth day, afterwards, the ducts presented an increasing number of collateral and terminal branches. There was no evidence of mucigen secretion from the septal glands during prenatal life. The initial stratified olfactory epithelium differentiated morphologically into a vestibular, respiratory, and an olfactory epithelium prior to the sixteenth prenatal day.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-147
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Morphology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1972

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Developmental Biology


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