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thumbnail posterior nasal cavity h&e 4x thumbnail posterior nasal cavity h&e 10x
thumbnail posterior nasal cavity h&e 20x thumbnail posterior nasal cavity h&e 40x

Nasal turbinates (conchae), convoluted structures formed by a bony core, are located in the anterior nasal cavity (nasoturbinate and maxilloturbinate) and in the posterior nasal cavity (ethmoturbinates). The latter play a part in heating the inhaled air and perceiving olfactory senses, and, like the dorsal wall of the nasal cavity, they are lined by olfactory epithelium (pseudostratified columnar epithelium), which contains olfactory receptor cells (bipolar neurons). The cilia of olfactory receptor cells contain chemoreceptors; their axons bundle together to form the olfactory nerves, which project to the olfactory bulb (in Chapter 9. Nervous System, the olfactory bulb is illustrated in detail). The olfactory receptor cells of the nasal turbinates, olfactory nerves, and olfactory bulbs make up the main olfactory system. The posterior nasal cavity also contains part of the accessory olfactory system, the vomeronasal organ (Jacobson’s organ; in Chapter 10. Sense Organs, the vomeronasal organ is depicted in detail).

The micrographs are transversal sections of a decalcified head. The 4X micrograph depicts the nasal turbinates lined with olfactory epithelium. The 10X micrograph shows the olfactory epithelium and the bone and cartilage tissues of the turbinates. The 20X and 40X micrographs present details of the olfactory epithelium and the bundles of olfactory nerves in the lamina propria underlying this epithelium.

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