The physiological basics of the olfactory neuro-epithelium
J.-B. Watelet*, M. Katotomichelakis**, P. Eloy*** and V. Danielidis**
*Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Ghent University, Belgium; **Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Demokritus Thrace University, Greece; ***Department of Otorhinolaryngology, CHU Mont-Godinne UCL, Belgium
Olfactory mucosa; anatomy; histology; epithelium; mucus
11 - 19
The physiological basics of the olfactory neuro-epithelium. All living organisms can detect and identify chemical substances in their environment. The olfactory epithelium is covered by a mucus layer which is essential for the function of the olfactory neurons that are directly connected to the brain through the cribriform plate. However, little is known about the composition of this mucus in humans and its significance for the diagnosis of olfactory disorders. The olfactory epithelium consists of four primary cell types, including the olfactory receptor cells essential for odour transduction. This review examines the anatomical, histological and physiological fundamentals of olfactory mucosa. Particular atten- tion is paid to the biochemical environment of the olfactory mucosa that regulates both peri-receptor events and several protective functions.
Suppl. 13, 2009

The physiological basics of the olfactory neuro-epithelium